We are heading for autumn. The late summer days are hot and dry, but a surprise rain shower fell over the weekend. Weekends are focused on gardening. In the process, we are getting in touch with the garden on a different level.
|The pears after the rain|
With Fungai in hospital, we have had to try to fit in the work that he would normally have completed during the week. That would include watering, mowing and trimming the edges of the lawn, weeding the vegetable and herb beds, deadheading the roses, harvesting the fruit and vegetables, and sweeping the stone pathways and stoeps.
|The Crinum moorei in flower|
Logistically, it is a crazy rush against time. We have to get the garden refuse, that which does not go into the compost bins, to the municipal dump before it closes at lunchtime on a Saturday. This means that I hardly have time to get to the butcher before they close at the same time.
Most businesses in Bonnievale close between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm on a Saturday and remain so for the rest of the weekend. This requires careful planning of the Saturday morning activities. Our Saturdays of late, rarely includes a visit to the town, as we head straight from breakfast to intensive gardening activities. I get the orchard, herb and vegetable gardens while Keith focuses on the rosarium, lawn and watering.
We pass each other where we rush from one task to another. Gone are leisurely lunches and afternoon relaxation on the lawn. The demands of the garden allows us to be in touch with its needs. I feel more connected to the garden again.
|Close-up of a Brugmansia flower|
A bit of a fright ensued when a raucous toad suddenly jumped next to my hand where I was cleaning the herbaceous border. It provided a moment for a breather. While I watched him, relieved that it was just a toad, he watched me cautiously in return. Deciding that I had the bigger surprise, off he hopped to find a quieter spot.
I encountered four lizards in different parts of the garden. I felt myself becoming more a part of the life and happenings of the garden than ever. Our weekends can be exhausting. But, it is a good exhaustion that comes with the satisfaction of connecting with one’s garden in a way that rekindles that intimacy.
Cutting the flowers of the Sweet Basil to prolong their productive life, I watched as the bees continued collecting nectar from the flowers in my hands. Following me to the compost bins, they foraged as much as possible from them before the flowers disappeared into the bins.
The Friday overnight shower, left the garden feeling fresh and cool. Fruit and flowers glistened with crystal drops. The coolness made gardening a pleasure. Everything else becomes less important. So what if I missed the butcher. A healthy picking of fruit and vegetables provides for a healthy starter, main course and dessert.
I did try to get acquainted with my new camera. But, with the lens focussed on the garden, I ensured that I stuck to required weekend tasks. The camera in my hand felt familiar. Like an old friend, but a more intelligent old friend. With all the new possibilities of a new model.
Through the camera, I could look at the garden in a different light. Giving me the chance to really appreciate the detail of the lilies and other plants currently in bloom. So I found myself focusing on the garden, in more ways than one.