Saturday, March 6, 2010


Brilliant sun today. I was outside in jeans and a tank top pruning out dead wood in an ornamental flowering cherry. The tree is mostly moss, with just a scattering of pink flowers. I needed a saw. Didn't have a saw. So it became an exercise in looking at a tangled conundrum and deciding how best to approach it. I began with the smallest possible details, the driest twigs snippable and within reach. Then I stood on the big rocks beneath the tree and reached for higher and thicker branches. Pulled on some until they snapped. Considered jumping up and reaching for those just a bit too high, grabbing and swinging, but decided that this probably wasn't a good idea. (It's important to remember that I am no longer ten years old.) It only took about a half hour, and now I have an erratic scruff-of-a-tree which should probably just be cut down but I kind of like its mossy hide. I'll plant some Heavenly Blue morning glories at its base and let them twine and adorn. There was a layer of moss bits and bark bits and lichen bits all over me when I was done. I was halfway to becoming human compost.

I've been scouting the yard, watching where the sun goes, to find a good spot for some tomato plants, some herbs. Dahlias, sunflowers, cosmos, violas, nasturtiums, clematis. It's high time I started gardening again. It's tricky: lots of trees, odd sunny corners, too much shade but I might just have to give in to begonias, impatiens, ajuga, sweet woodruff, a few ferns. But I'm accustomed to gardening by the square inch so I'll
make good use of those few sunny patches.


  1. So lovely.

    We had our own version today ... it is spring. Winter's over, surely, surely. It smells like it's over, and that that time to retire those heaviest wool mufflers etc. are here.

    The first tiny pale green shoots of crocii, etc. were noticed on Thursday ....

    And travel re-commences -- he's off to LA next week.

    Love, C.

  2. Don't forget to 'plant' a reasonably comfortable Garden Bench, T. There's nothing more important in a garden than to admire all your hard work, and give yourself time to 'contemplate' in peace.

    Bisou, Cro.

  3. My trillium that I planted last summer are up and looking fine!! Also--white crocus are especially perky in a shady garden. Mine have been cheering me up for weeks.

  4. "I was outside in jeans and a tank top"

    And lookin' good, too!

  5. I planted raspberries yesterday -- Tulamen!

  6. Susan -- raspberries! Lucky girl.

  7. I love the image of you with 'a layer of moss bits and bark bits and lichen bits all over you...' T. Clear!

    I have a Doubting Tree in my garden that sounds like your Mossy Scruff. It's absolutely on its last legs (an iconic NZ native Cabbage Tree) but I love its form. It has candelabra-like branches that make it look as though it's constantly in a state of ecstasy or dance. It also reminds me of the tree that Horton the Elephant sits so faithfully whilst taking responsibility for Maizy the Lazy Bird's egg. I have often wondered whether Dr Seuss might have seen one of these and been inspired...

    This morning, the almost-dead tree was alive with chaffinches. The were having the time of their lives in it... there's no way I can cut it down. It will have to turn itself over when it's ready.

    As fast as spring is approaching you over there in the North, Autumn is approaching us in the South. My favourite times of the year, the Equinoxes - so potent and full of perfume.

    Enjoy! L, C

  8. Claire, your comments are always so thoughtful! Autumn is my favorite season too.

    I went out and looked at my diminished tree today....alas, not so pretty, save for the moss and the fungi colonizing the trunk (which might account for its demise).