Thursday, June 30, 2016

Early Summer in the Grapeyard

“The juice of the grape is the 
liquid quintessence 
of concentrated sunbeams."

We are months away from grape harvest which generally occurs in October here.  A few frosts really sweeten up the grapes, so we hold off on picking them as long as we can.  Strawberries are dwindling and blackberry picking is around the corner.  We are eating lettuces and greens and radishes and garlic scapes, fresh from the garden each day.  We are busy irrigating as we wait for more rain.  A storm is forecast for the overnight hours, and we are hoping for a thorough, but gentle, soaking.

It was pleasant to come home after an afternoon running errands and take a leisurely walk through the grape yard.  

What a pleasure to walk 
amid all the shadows and light,
to pause and admire the contrast 
between new growth and old woody vines,
and to be refreshed by
 the vivid green of leaf growth 
and the sweet blue sky
on this last day of June.

Where ever you are, whatever the weather, 
I wish you refreshment and restoration.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday Stroll: Going Wild

On a rainy Sunday, I walk through wet grass
and color rises up to greet me.
Robin's Egg blue,

and Rose Campion

Pale Milkweed Pink

and Black-eyed Susan yellow.

Sweet white fleabane bends in the cool breeze
 that followed the storm to these northern hills,

and the crimson stems of wild raspberry blossoms 
glow against verdant green leaves.

Green cedar berries drip rain water onto the earth,

and wild mint pushes up through the field grasses 
at the edge of the woods.

St. Johnswort lifts herself brightly along the treeline,

and mullein leaves shine,
softly silver.

Even the pale pink bindweed
is pretty after a rain.

Where ever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you color and light.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

This Year's Iris

E. is my road trip buddy.  She is 79 years young and last autumn we drove the Blue Ridge Highway together and had a blast.  We took pictures of natural wonders, did some sightseeing, listened to amazing, soul-stirring music, and laughed a great deal!  A few of the iris in my gardens are gifts from her, including these:

Bob was a man who worked in a shop much of his life, but at home he tended day-lilies and iris with energy and passion.  He had only one arm, but could dig and divide plants quickly and efficiently.  He was generous with his divisions.  I do not know the names of the iris he shared with me, but for my own purposes, I have named them after him:  Bob's Tiger and Bob's Royal Bloom.

From Kathy (Mother of my son's elementary school friend).  Someone had given her great big bags of iris, and she was happy to share.  I love that about gardeners!

From trips to a local iris farm with my daughters, I have Rock Star and Burnt Embers:

 From a memorial garden for a cat I had for seventeen years  (Mariah), I have Wild Ginger.

We grow almost exclusively vegetables and herbs here on our farm, but as the years go by, 
I sneak in a few flowers.  
Iris are one of my favorite flowers,
 from the wild blue flags at the water's edge,
 to these showy gals in the garden. 

 The scent of iris is subtle and sweet. 
 I breathe in their fragrance and I am a barefoot child at the side of the barn, 
where my mother grew 
purple iris that smelled like grapes,
and yellow iris that smelled like cake baking.\
I breathe in that familiar scent,
and I am barefoot and vibrantly alive
 in the fresh summer air.

 Where ever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you time to stop and smell the blossoms.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Days Like This

On days like this, 
when the sky is so full 
of tenderness and sympathy
that it leans down 
and touches the earth
to offer comfort...
you must get out and walk in it.

Walking through the gloom,
you discover that the world
is not gray after all
but full of hidden color,
and hopeful.

Walking through,
let the sympathy of the sky,
and the soft singing
of the fields
fill you
so full of tenderness and sympathy
that you lean down
and touch the earth
and offer comfort...

and, perhaps,
 take some comfort there as well.

Where ever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you comfort.

Photo Key: 1) Sorrel seedhead  2-5) Bladder Campion  6) meadow 7-8) Goatsbeard  9) Buttercup 10) Spurge (?) 11 - 13) Lady Slipper (Orchid)   14-15) Orange Hawkweed  16) Field Daisy 17) Meadow Grass