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Saturday, February 15, 2020

Renewal in the Garden

It's been a productive week for working on my books - both writing and illustrating - and today I finished my little painting for the weekend. But this time, instead of writing about any of that, I'm writing about the wonderful feeling of renewal that working in my garden gives me.

After working a few hours a day for the past three weeks, the garden is successfully 'tucked in.' 


The roses are pruned, the clippings are in the compost pile, the dead leaves are raked up and removed, and, best of all, they all have a new layer of about 3" of compost. Actually, it would be more accurate to say 'well-rotted horse manure' - the work of my sister's horse Merlin, the heat, cold, and rain, and all the worms and little microbes who've been so busy over the past year.

It's funny, but I get really enthusiastic shoveling that horse manure from the pile into the wheelbarrow, then out of the wheelbarrow and around the roses. The texture is perfect! And it feels like I'm putting a warm blanket around the bushes. 'Good night, little roses! Sleep tight and renew your strength for a spring, summer, and fall of beautiful blooms.

My next task with them will be to add epsom salts to the base of each bush when the new growth is about 2" long.


The chrysanthemums and dahlias are tucked into a deep layer of oak leaves. The dahlias are sleeping peacefully, but the mums just won't quit! When I cut them back in November and December, the new growth had already started. That's just the way the are! As you can see, the ducks and chicken (the black bird further back) approve.


Meanwhile, Merlin, whose area abuts the garden, is ignoring me. This would be quite different if the garden were green and I were pruning. In that case, he's have his nose pressed against the fence hoping for a treat. Rose blossoms are his favorite!

But I was going to write about renewal. Well, as I've mentioned, the plants are resting and renewing. But for me, every time I work in the garden is a renewal. There's always something different, even if only minutely so. Always work to do. Always the promise of things to come. It's soothing, and also inspiring to witness the strength of life.

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