Spring and Imperfect Gardens

“But aren't many gardens beautiful because they are imperfect?...aren't the strange, new flowers that arise by mistake or misadventure as pleasing as the well-tended and planned?”― Libba BrayThe Sweet Far Thing

I used to have this theory that my gardens weren't beautiful unless they looked perfect. Now I don't like formal gardens with manicured  hedges like in The Shining. I am all for the casual English garden style, but if there were weeds, empty spots, tall grass, or plants not doing well, I felt like a failure.

Because of that I never liked spring. Spring was always a struggle. Spring was a challenge. Spring was messy. There were plants that you didn't know whether to let thrive or pull because they might be weeds. One day there are lovely tulips one day, the next day dead plants.  Nothing seemed right in the gardens at Martin Creek. 

When I post pictures of my gardens I only show the good. I do not show the bad where sections of the gardens are full of weeds or overgrown grass. I surely don't show the ugly either  which are spots with things that I don't recognize. I call them the mystery gardens.

I am letting go. I am embracing anything that comes to life in spring. I am enjoying the tiny plants that may be flowers in a month. I am leaving dead tulip leaves to put food back into their bulbs. I am letting unwanted grass grow... at least a bit until I have the strength to pull it. 

I am finally finding a unique beauty in spring and my imperfect gardens.

Evening on the Deck

When the school  day is over, the chores are done, dinner is over, and it is time to rest we like to enjoy a view of evening moving in from our deck.

Remembering McDuff

Almost thirteen years ago our neighbors called and said they had kittens. We walked down to take a look and came home with two brothers. We named them McDuff and Finnegan. We said good-bye to Finnegan a few years ago, but McDuff has lived a full life here at The Gardens of Martin Creek. His years have included life and death of many other cats. 

He had a gentle soul, and took time to teach the new members of our cat family the ropes. He earned the nickname" The Sheriff"  because it was almost like he was on guard as he took his position on the porch or the end of the walk. We knew cat strangers tried to come on our property, but McDuff was always quick to escort them away. All the other cats loved him. He got along with all our dogs. He had a special place in his heart for my mom's cat Noel.

Even on his last dying day he laid in my lap and purred contently. It was like he was saying good-bye. Our animal family is in mourning tonight with us. It will not be the same without McDuff waking me up early in the morning as he kneads my chest as if to say, "Hey....time to feed me."

Girls With Cameras

The other day all the boys in my sixth grade class went to a meeting so I just had the girls. I handed them cameras and said, "Go for it." This is what they captured on film. I love it!

Evening Blossoms

 One if the best ways to unwind after a long teaching week is with a camera and a yard filled with spring blossoms. Enjoy! The photo above is a blooming spring shrub called keria

flowering crab apple, apple blossoms, and another of the keria

Comfort From the Cat

We have quite a menagerie of pets at our house. Recently we watched our female cat Isabelle at the table on the deck. I went and grabbed my camera and caught a whole series of cat capers. I love our cats.

"I'll just lay here and act tired," said Isabelle.

 "What........did you say a new dog next door?"
 I knew if I looked really hungry she would feed me.

Now, while they aren't looking I will get up here and groom myself.

NaBloPoMo: I Did It!

I did it. I posted every day in April and now I am going to try in in May. I love the theme of comfort. I find comfort in writing each day. It keeps me in a routine of getting thoughts down and provides a journal I can refer back to days, weeks, months, and years later.
Along with writing I find comfort in creating bouquets. I picked spring flowers today to give as thank you gifts to some staff members tomorrow. The colors, smells, and shapes of the flowers were intriguing today.