Have I mentioned recently that I love gardening? I love getting out in the garden and on my hands and knees digging in the soil. Admittedly, the getting back up part is not as easy as it used to be, but while I’m down there, with plants of varying shapes and sizes and colors and textures and scents all around me, my hands in the soil feeling that warm, moist, crumbly stuff that harbors millions of microscopic critters going about their business giving the soil life – and creating nutritious conditions for my plants – is simply exhilarating!
One recent sunny morning I woke up early and full of energy so I thought it would be a great time to enjoy my morning tea out in the conifer garden. The morning was quiet, the sun had just risen high enough to begin to shine its life-giving rays through the filter of many Douglas fir branches causing patterns of light and shadow across the garden. It was a very quiet time, the morning songbirds had completed their job of announcing the day and the squirrels hadn’t begun to attend to their daily affairs of collecting food or planting crops for the future. There was just me and the occasional far-off sound of a dog barking and the rumble of a car or two.
I sipped my tea as I strolled quietly through the garden while I listened to the quiet and breathed in the fresh scent of the new day. Noticing a few weeds near the birdbath, I kneeled to remove them, and before long I was contentedly pulling weeds, pinching the soft and sweetly scented new growth of one of my lavender plants and marveling at the tiny, scale-like, coarsely textured foliage of my Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Chirimen’. Finishing my cup of tea, I moved myself into a sunny patch of the small area of lawn and laid back, looking up into the sky and the taller trees, just enjoying the peace and quiet of this most magnificent morning.
What I didn’t know is that my wife had not remained in bed long after I arose. By this time she had prepared her coffee and was sitting with the cat near one of our windows which overlook the garden. Apparently, she had spotted me sprawled out on the ground, and thinking the worst she came bounding out of the house and ran screaming toward me. Of course this startled me and I jumped to my feet (well, you might imagine that my definition of jumping to my feet is something more like a strenuous series of maneuvers to get myself upright) just about the time she made it to my location.
Now, I shouldn’t complain since once I was upright and she was near we exchanged a rather warm and refreshing embrace. She, of course, had presumed that I had had a heart attack or – well, who knows what. I reassured her that all was well as we strolled back to the house still holding one another close.
Yes, I love gardening, and what I discovered that day, was that gardening can lead to other enjoyable activities.