22 November 2012

Wabi Sabi, or the beauty of a November garden


 It's not exactly news that November is not usually my favourite month of the year. The winding down of the outdoor gardening year, and the changes in the natural world, have conspired with my tendency to be affected by SAD. But that isn't to say I don't appreciate the beauties that this month has to offer.

 Several years ago, there was a theme-meme that went through the gardening world, about Wabi-Sabi, the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection, and of accepting the natural cycle of the seasons, with growth, decay, death, and rebirth. This has been a year that has certainly taught me about wabi-sabi, especially the cycles of nature.

11 November 2012

Art in the Garden, or the Garden Artist

 Last year, one of my friends introduced me to the amazing metal artist, Al Simm of Avon River Metalworks. I'm so glad she did, and you will be too.
Al has been called "the reluctant artist", although there's nothing reluctant about his work ethic. Or his skills. He takes ordinary metal, in many cases recycled from oil tanks and other metal that would otherwise end up in landfills, and creates garden sculptures of all sizes and kinds. Like these metal cattails...

09 November 2012

"...Can you come out to play in my empty garden?"

If you had told me a year ago that this would be my garden view, I'd have told you you were nuts. After more than thirteen years in the home and garden that I created with my late beloved, this is what I see now when I look out my windows. 

Quite a different vista from that which I lavished love, attention and money on for so many years. To every thing there is a season...and the season of living where I lived is now over. I won't go into details, other than to say karma will sort it all out. Meanwhile, I won't look back. 

An almost-blank slate is not a bad thing. The 'bones' are there, in all those native trees, especially the splendid native sugar and red maples. The meadow in the above photo is waiting to be planted in the style of Piet Oudolf. There are ready-made areas for shade plants, and native plants. 
 There is a nice collection of Japanese maples and several Gold Rush metasequoias (dawn redwood) in the front garden...
And a lovely big magnolia (I don't know which species just yet) which will be joined by other magnolias as time and energy permits. 



Some of my special plants went with me, of course, like this 'Cosmic Traveller' daylily. Some went to friends, who will propagate more plants for me when my knees are finally fixed and spring returns to our shores. 
With an almost blank slate and different growing conditions, now that I'm on the warm Valley floor rather than on the cold Fundy shore, I will be developing beds for some of my favourite types of plants, including the alpines that currently are mostly hanging out in troughs and planters. 
Extra special plants, like this species rhododendron from Captain Steele's Bayport Plant Farm, made the trip too and are waiting in holding beds for me to decide on the right location for them.

 I'm not the first gardener to uproot from home and relocate, and I won't be the last. I look at friends who have come across country, even across oceans and from other countries, to put their roots down in the fertile soil of the Annapolis Valley, and I take courage from them.

So that's what's new with me, and why I've been largely silent here on bloomingwriter these past several months. It took a lot of time and energy and courage (and HELP from beloved friends and family!) to organize myself and make the move. Now the cats and I are here, and we're focusing on the future.

From songwriter James Keelaghan, I take great comfort:

In a recent future, what is now
Somehow becomes before,
As though we're always rushing through
Some huge revolving door.
For the present what will be
Will be here ever after;
May that bring joy for you,
May that bring laughter.

 Stay tuned, friends. There will be many more posts, lots of garden talk, and maybe even some blue poppies.

Yeah, definitely some blue poppies!

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