A New Look for Spring

If you’re looking for “Deep Thoughts and Junk”, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve given the blog a face lift just in time for Spring Break!

(Acik – stock.adobe.com) 

Advertisements

If I were an Earth Mage

Spring has arrived in all its flamboyant glory. Green things have begun to pop their heads from out their beds. It is a time of excitement and a wee bit of trepidation for northern gardeners. Did the perennials I planted last year make it through the harsh winter? Will the new little saplings grow or did they reject the earth I put them in? On weekends like this, I’d love to be an Earth Mage.

Colorado had an early, bitter frost last fall. It took three of my evergreen shrubs. I’m still waiting on pins and needles to see if my first year poppies and columbines made it. Alas, the lavender garden I planted last year may be another innocent victim of frost kill and my own stupidity.

IMG_0010  IMG_0009

Who doesn’t love lavender? It’s beautiful, attracts butterflies and bees, and you can make your own yummy smelly stuff with it. I planted a circle of pink English Lavender (shown in the left picture above) and purple French Lavender as borders. It did really well in the hot sun. My blooms were beautiful.

Had I been an Earth Mage, I would have walked through the logic and understood Lavender is a native of temperate climates. It loves hot sun. Winter chill is its Kryptonite. I would have used my mad mage skills to plant this garden in a place it would have received tons of sun and been protected from Mr. Winter.  Case in point – Look at the picture above on the right side. This is an old growth French Lavender bush I slapped in the ground years ago. It gets several hours of full sun and is close to the warm walls of my house. This thing cannot die. It has been dug up several times by my dog and is regularly a kitty bed. While it looks dead this time of year, you can just make out a few sprigs of new growth. It will eventually spread to the whole plant.

Surprises I cannot explain:

IMG_0007

Here is a reoccurring “What?” surprise I have each Spring. A few years back, I threw an old packet of German Chamomile seeds into a dumpy looking planter. While I am surprised it grew at all, the real miracle is it comes back each year. What’s the big deal? German Chamomile is not a perennial! These plants are reseeding themselves within the planter. They come back stronger every year. I’d love to have these tiny white flowers growing along the fence. I’ve tried to re-create this in my large herb garden, but the Chamomile won’t have any of it. If I were an Earth Mage, maybe I could reason with it?

IMG_0008

I’ve had a wonderful new surprise this year in the garden.  The Tarragon I left for dead is coming back in a big way. Yep – It’s perennial, so I should have expected it. However, it’s where I planted it that’s so stunning. I’ll tell you I’ve tried to plant Tarragon for several years and it didn’t like any place I put it. Finally, I tried the blue pot at the corner of the garden shed. Quite often it is covered in the shadows of my giant Russian Sage. Well, I guess the Tarragon made friends with the Sage. It came back and I’ve already snagged a couple of licorice flavored leaves. Perhaps if I were an Earth Mage, I would have understood plant relationships can be like human ones. Some fit well together and get along nicely. Others seek to overtake and destroy.

I wish I was an Earth Mage, but I’m not. Like most gardeners, I have to use trial and error. I’m at nature’s whim and must prepare as best I can for her fury. While she does bring death and loss, she also brings great abundance. I’m grateful for her generosity. Seriously though – If anyone knows a good Earth Mage, let me know.

Winter, I Defy You!

There are big snowflakes falling from the sky over my house this morning. Not cool, Nature! I know it’s March in the Rocky Mountains. March is the snowiest month, etc. However, you’ve given us temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s long enough to wake up the spring bulbs. Apparently, you’ve changed your mind. Fine. I’ll just share a bit of Colorado Springtime on my blog today.

SpringInTheTrollGarden2014 002

Crocus

Iris

Cleaning Out the Closets of Your Mind

SpringInTheTrollGarden2014 002

(Image: Double Daffodils and Pink Giant Hyacinths from my garden)

I love Spring. We pull our grumpy winter selves out from under the blankets and back out into the sunshine. If you’re like me, you shed the old stuff from closets and drawers to make room for the new. This morning I noticed a ragged old sweat shirt I’ve had for about ten years. It once belonged to a heather purple jogging outfit I thought was pretty stylin’ back then. Gawd knows what happened to the pants.  Why have I kept it so long if I never wear it? No idea.

There are other closets that need to be cleaned out now and again. Preconceived notions of people or things need to be reexamined. Ideas I thought were outlandish or just plain wrong in my youth have a different hue when I study them with wisdom coming from life experience (okay…age if you want to be a stickler).  Some certainties I once believed were unshakably accurate, have changed as the world has changed.

Take a Step Back: One of my biggest personality flaws is taking for granted the people in my life never change. I have friends I may not speak to for months if not years (Not making the effort to stay in contact with loved ones is another personality flaw for another day). We get together for dinner or a chat. In my mind, no time has passed and this person sitting across from me hasn’t had any life changing experiences. I don’t consider they may have grown as a person.

This flaw came back to bite me about a year ago. I was on travel for the day job and made arrangements to meet with an old friend of mine who lived in the area. Her life had dramatically changed and because we hadn’t been in touch, I was caught off guard by this new person I no longer knew. We muddled through an awkward dinner. I’m sorry to say, my friend and I haven’t spoken since.

Friends and family are precious. I don’t own them. They don’t sit on a shelf waiting for me to pick them up again. I consciously make the effort to take a step back and reexamine the people I think I know.

  • Listen: I turn off the “I already know everything about this person” record in my mind and I listen to what they’re telling me
  • Let Go: I consciously make the effort to let go of my pre-conceived notions of this person.  People change. Sometimes for the good and sometimes for the not so good
  • Respect: I respect the change in this person and treat them accordingly. If they’ve changed into someone that isn’t good for me, then I respect myself by taking them out of my life

Final Thoughts: There are some things I will never get rid of like my tattered old writing sweater. Sure, it’s seen better days, but it’s comforting and still of value. Other things will never go out of style or become threadbare: integrity, honesty and hard work. These things should be worn proudly and never be tucked away or thrown out.