|End of the season Zinnias|
The whole thing is kind of miraculous. We don't invent plants, we don't sew or glue them together. We plant the seed and it sprouts with a whole life plan laid out in its genes. Once it sprouts I become more an audience member than a performer, (well maybe a stage hand...) Becoming a gardener really means becoming a guardian, observer and a care-taker... I think this must be a little like motherhood....It's as easy to figure out the probable growth habit of a plant as it is to know the probable development of a human being, but the beautiful part is that we can't predict each detail, each reaction, we don't know exactly how things will turn out. That is what makes living things individual and significant.
The gardening season is winding down and we are onto tasks of cleaning, cutting, raking, & mulching. I have nearly worn out my gardening shoes and more than one pair of gloves. All summer I kept the insect repellent industry in business, finally mastered the start -up of the leaf blower (in case you haven't been keeping up with my progress, read the Blog from July 10th -- this is BIG!) I love my Felco pruners and pretty much recovered from the ailment I like to refer to as 'gardener's shoulder.' I can spot poison ivy a mile away and so far am still avoiding the itchy rash. I can identify nearly every plant in the Friendship Garden and know how to repair irrigation. It's been fascinating see how the grasses shine in Fall, bulbs and trees are stars of the Spring, the sun-lovers take the leading roles in Summertime and the berries provide color on shrubs you never notice until it snows. Near the top of my "best things about my job at the Arboretum list" are the things I'm seeing about life reflected from the plants themselves...
|leaves from a Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis)|
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."