Photo by Paul Mayer
BY KIMBERLY MAYER
A rundown fence runs across our property, and over the fence is the bay. When we moved in, I planted Leucanthemun superbum Becky, a 4’ tall growing Shasta Daisy along the entire fence. A reliable perennial of strong stem and a tendency to spread, every summer we’re more pleased with its performance than the summer before. Last week I cut them all back to two inches, one stem at a time. That’s how the plant comes back, year after year. That is all it asks.
It’s November now and dark and dreary, but something happened to me out there by the fence that afternoon, wrapped in a sweater and parka, wearing gloves and rain boots. As the stems toppled over, I could see spring in my mind’s eye. I could see what I couldn’t see before. I could see that spring is right around the corner and on it’s way. Gardening does this. We live in multiple seasons at once when we garden, and this I consider a miracle of sorts.
Today I climbed upon a steep little hillside to cut back more clumps of Shasta daisy I had planted, for I’ve become very fond of this flower. A shorter growing variety of Leucanthemun superbun known as Silver Princess. Deer hang out on this hillside, and here too, they leave my Shasta daisy alone. “Gifts from the deer,” I call it when I find deer-resistant plants. And again, this one too is a reliable bloomer late spring through summer.
Every year upon this hillside, I note I’m a little less steady. I’m incline now to topple and slide a little more, and I vow to take up yoga finally. A few years back when I first began planting on this slope, I wore my garden clogs. Today I wouldn’t even think of it. The fact is, I am practically on all fours, and dragging my garden tote behind me. And that is how I left my green kneeling pad upon the hillside. Such a metaphor for what I believe in and what my religion is now, I almost hesitated to fetch it and bring it in.
12 responses to “Our Lady of the Perennial Garden”
beautiful –I can just see those daisies swaying the wind —–
you would love gentle yoga
Sweetie, you DID see those daisies swaying in the wind, last summer!
And as for yoga if I lived anywhere near, you could guide me.
I absolutely love this! The seasons of our lives are so much like a garden. The growth, the dormancy. Being tended with love and a tender hand they continue to give us the gifts of beauty. Your metaphors and the way you put all this together with your words “plants a garden” in my soul. ❤️❤️
Thank you so much, Val.
Lovely and thought provoking. Reading A Little Elbow Room is my meditation.
What a sweet thing to say!
Ye verily, Kim. We were 60, 20+ years ago, when we built our home on a VERY steep hill. No problem. Now it (and the acre to maintain, to our standards) are such a “problem” that we will sell our home in the spring and hopefully find a home in downtown FH, which will not be easy.
All best, Alice ========== Alice B. Acheson, Book Marketing/Publishing Consultant P. O. Box 735 Friday Harbor, WA 98250 360/378-5850 http://sites.google.com/site/alicebacheson a little elbow room wrote on 11/24/2019 1:18 PM: > WordPress.com > a little elbow room posted: ” Photo by Paul Mayer BY KIMBERLY MAYER A > rundown fence runs across our property, and over the fence is the bay. > When we moved in, I planted Leucanthemun superbum Becky, a 4’ tall > growing Shasta Daisy along the entire fence. A reliable p” >
There’s much to be said for living in town: a pedestrian life. That said, we’ll miss you out on the point.
Wish I could be there cutting daisies with you!
I wish you were too, though now I’ve gone on to picking up branches after a few storms blew through. It’s all editing, is how I see it. Most of all, I dream about us writing together again.
Kim…beautiful piece. The sentence “We live in multiple seasons at once when we garden, and this I consider a miracle of sorts” speaks to me.
Thank you, Amy. Multiple seasons, and as we age, the years start to fold together too. Particularly with perennials and trees.