Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Garden Delights and Wise Words from John Updike

My only potatoes of the season, some zucchini, purple beans, and the last of the snap peas.

The garden is full of delights this time of year.  Some things, like lettuce and snap peas which burst onto the scene with reckless abandon, have drifted off into a slumber in the summer heat.

Still growing like mad are zucchini, cucumbers, purslane, kale, tomatoes, carrots and pumpkins.  I've probably got at least 30 pumpkins growing at the moment and I'm hoping there will be enough for the neighborhood and family kids to all get one for Halloween this year.

Just three pumpkin seeds in a little mound of dirt is all it took this year,  The bees have been busy pollinating the large blossoms. 

I had not anticipated the success of the pumpkin patch this year!

While I can't always count on her help in the garden (except for the harvesting part!) my daughter loves to make "fairy houses."  She will spend considerable time on making these homes pleasant for the fairies of her dreams.  Sometimes the fairies leave little gifts.

It might be hard to see, but this has everything a fairy might need!

So much growth and so much wonder takes place in the garden.  Lessons are learned in both patience and acceptance.  What becomes merely a memory of hard work, gives so much in the growth of plants.  That is, until it is time to work again.  The time in the garden rarely does feel like actual work to me for some reason.  Even sore muscles and sweat translate into joy.

Here is a poem I love from John Updike about hoeing in the garden. 


I sometimes fear the younger generation will be deprived 

of the pleasures of hoeing;

there is no knowing

how many souls have been formed by this simple exercise. 

The dry earth like a great scab breaks,

revealing moist-dark loam--

the pea-root's home,

a fertile wound perpetually healing.

How neatly the green weeds go under!

The blade chops the earth new.

Ignorant the wise boy who

has never performed this simple, stupid, and useful wonder.

~John Updike

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