Why I Garden

So I was away from this blog for a few days. Not intentionally, I hasten to add: but sometimes, it must be admitted, unintentional absences are the best. I was in fact dealing with miscellaneous garbage, like what I wrote about yesterday. The flotsam and jetsam of life. I would have rather spent time in the garden.

Aquilegia alpina

The funny thing is, it’s often in the garden I get my best ideas, digging out the quack grass or pruning the roses — mostly, I think, because it’s an entirely different part of the brain working.

Peony Rising

So I think, trying to understand the near-decadent beauty of the peony, what’s the point? Does anything matter? I mean we live in a universe so old our primate brains cannot comprehend the immensity of it, and it will carry on long — long! —- after we are dead, and all we have in our mayfly existence is the thin grasp of something wonderful and fleeting, that will be knocked down by rain and a windstorm.

Such thoughts one can have gardening, strange and powerful.

Centaurea montana

This plant is a weed in nearly every garden it lives in. It is also strikingly gorgeous. I am trying to decide if God is really the Cosmic Joker, and whether this plant is in fact proof (or not) of Her existence.

In the garden, you have to face both the large questions and the ambiguous answers.

Iris psedoacorus

“Mais il faut cultiver notre jardin,” said Voltaire. We must cultivate our garden. Don’t worry about the spinning of the universe or the many and manifold human complications. Dig your fingers in the dirt from which we all came and wonder at the miracle of it, and think that the beauty of a yellow flag iris came literally from the stuff of stars.

While we wonder we still can still live and hope and love. Beauty is one place to start, and beauty, of course, is found in gardens.

Rosa 'Hansa'

Rosa 'Hansa'


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  1. #1 by Jenn Jilks on Tuesday 14 June 2011 - 1234

    NOTHING better than gardening therapy! It is a form of meditation for me.
    I am delighted to see ‘weeds’ spreading around our lawn, Indian Paint Brush, big yellow plants, and natural plants in the region.
    Great shots.

  2. #2 by DM on Tuesday 14 June 2011 - 1423

    Thank you for the beauty

  3. #3 by Adrienne on Thursday 16 June 2011 - 0659

    You say that Centaurea montana is a weed, but something is eating mine. Ignored everything else in the garden bed and munched off the blossoms just about to open. Do you know which little critter eats it?

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