Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dirt Therapy

Yesterday, I spent almost all day trimming potted plants on our back deck and planting herbs in pots and in our south-facing herb bed. Mmmmm... the delicious scents that swirled around me all day! The honeysuckle vines are rampant in our backyard (I am a gardener of the Romantic persuasion) and their rich, scents seduced me all day long. It's like music for your nose.

By the way, this crop circle just appeared this past week in England. It makes me think of music and how interconnected and intertwined all our spheres and links are. It is in a young field of barley and is the 15th one reported this season. To me, it holds the central symbol of the sun as well as sylized yin-yang symbols on either side connected by lines and circles to create a repeating loop of energy. Isn't it exquisitely beautiful?!?

(Back to North Carolina...)
We also have ligustrum shrubs blooming now, with their cone-shape clusters of small white blossoms that have a fresh scent much greater than the blooms promise. I remember as a little girl we had a hedge of ligustrum along one side of our yard and my dad had pruned them so that they looked like one big long bush. Well, inside those branches were cubbies between the trunks of the bushes, a perfect place for me to crawl in, curl up on the cool dirt, and watch the world from between the leaves. This was in summer when the blooms were burgeoning, so whenever I smell that fresh scent, I flash back to hiding from the world surrounded by green smells and the soft buzzing of busy bees.

(Sometimes I still want to do this, you understand. Instead, though, I just sit outside and sniff after days gone by.)

The butterflies were enraptured with the blossoms, too. One kept fluttering its wings as it sucked nectar from honeysuckle blossoms. I'm sure it was so she would stay where she needed to be, but it sure looked like she was trembling with excitement about all the sweetness around her!

The herbs I bought last weekend at the Garden Jubilee in downtown Hendersonville were great to play with, too! I bought several scented geraniums, and potting them was just a cornucopia of lovely smells! If you don't know scented geraniums, you need to check them out (scientific name, Pelargonium, but google scented geranium and you'll find plenty of resources). They are not as showy as the more common geraniums you see everywhere, but those don't smell good at all (in my opinion). The scented ones have a soft fuzz on the leaves which hold oils so that when you rub their leaves, you can smell rose or lemon or an assortment of other relaxing scents. Nature sure knows her purfumes.

I also bought a bay tree which needs to be potted here in the mountains since it gets too cold for them to winter outside (so I understand...). And I potted some basil for pesto (yum! Andrew calls pesto "husband repellent", so I eat it when he's not around...) My son Allen helped me plant a curry plant, two tarragons, a lemongrass, a thyme, and two big pots of sweet woodruff (check out the recipe for May wine in an earlier post). So now our deck steps are lined with lovely plants that when you brush against them they will send out welcoming scents! And we have new perennials in our herb bed for pickin' and cookin'. The sage planted a couple of springs ago is going nuts, as is the fennel and lavendar, and a couple of varieties of mints. Time for mint tea. Mmmmm...
The birds are ecstatic nowadays... there was song all around me yesterday. I laid in the hammock for a while, breathing in the smells, watching the sight of the sun shining through the feathers of outspread songbird wings flying above me from tree to tree; ppssttt-pppssttt-ppsssttt-ing so the birds would come closer to check me out so that I could check them out.

It's amazing what loud notes can come from such small bodies! If only humankind would sing to claim our territory instead of go to war... wouldn't it be a lovely world?

So now our back deck looks lovely and welcoming. (Isn't it wonderful when you accomplish something that's been on your mind?) And last night we ate on the deck, and were joined by a couple of friends so that we sat well into the darkness talking and catching up. The honeysuckle sent out its welcome the entire time. What abundance!

This weekend is, for me, about getting some of my to do list done: tasks that are constant reminders of what I haven't done yet... like planting herbs, trimming potted plants... and next is de-cluttering and organizing my studio so I can create without distraction (or wondering "Where did I put that....?") I'm halfway there!
I hope you are having lovely, sensual outdoor experiences with Nature, too!