Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Gardening Errors

Recently,  I was trimming the fig ivy back from the windows (again!) and it occurred to me that I keep repeating the same mistakes.  When I reflect on my habits as a gardener, I see that my personality flaws determine, to a large extent, what I'm up to in the garden.

We'll stick to the garden in this discussion: don't worry.  There won't be too much psychodrama!

I have trouble in my garden with the same things, time and again, mainly because I overestimate the extent of my own power to control things.  That fig ivy?  I was warned.  But no!  I believed I could easily keep it in check.  The Norfolk Island Pine, that died a horrible death in this winter's freeze?  I knew it was a Zone 10 plant, but I thought I could keep it warm, up close by the brick wall on the south side of my house.  That pretty calibrachoa basket, resembling tiny baby petunias?  I knew it wasn't a heat-tolerant plant, but I SWORE I could keep it alive, in the partial shade under a big maple tree.  Not.  You see where I'm headed with this, don't you?  The large tree planted too close to the fence?  The plants getting too much sun, or too much shade, or too much water, or not enough water?  I did all that on purpose, really.

Norfolk Island Pine - Pre-freeze!

I could go on and on, but I won't.  I'll just say that I'm trying to escape this Gardener's Groundhog Day in which I find myself.  Trying to accept the fact that I am not, after all, in charge of the whole wide world.  (At least not the outside world!)

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