You cannot capture a dream until you reach for it.

Archive for May, 2012

Confessions of a Lazy Gardener

by Karen E. Rigley

Thumbing through magazines and catalogues I see beautiful gardens and wish I could recreate them at my house. But the reality doesn’t match the dream. In part, because I’m a lazy gardener. Yes, I admit it. L-A-Z-Y.

Shameful, but true. Sometimes, my flower patches boast more weeds and grass than blossoms. Sometimes, there are more fading blooms than rosebuds adorning my rose bushes.

Sometimes, my clematis and honeysuckle vines entwine around the fence and even the peonies instead of the trellis. My herb garden occasionally sprouts a dandelion taller than the sage and lavender. The sad wilt of my pansies, snow-in-summer and creeping phlox reveal when I forget to water. It’s true sometimes my gardening skills look questionable.

It’s not my skill – it’s my will. I truly intend to do better this year. I hear some of you echoing my resolution, so I am not the only lazy gardener here. Good, that makes my confession easier. I love gardening – I do. Except it’s so much work. And takes so much time.  Plus I’m not as, ah, nimble as I once was.  Knees and ankles tend to protest — rather loudly at times.

Fortunately, I pad my landscape with flowering bushes like Rose of Sharon, flowering almond, forsythia, snowball, mock orange, Potentilla and bridal veil which need little grooming.

Maybe if I had raised beds to help keep out the weeds and grass? Oh, yeah.  Not so much. I tried that in a corner of the backyard. I dug down two feet and laid down that black plastic barrier before I built the raised beds. Uh huh. It took about two months for the tentacles of grass and wild morning glory to snake up through. That corner of oriental lilies, trumpet lilies and Liatris (feather flowers) fare no better than the other areas, though it appears a festive corner. Just don’t look too closely. 😉

The crazy thing is that I still get compliments on my flowers. Remarkable fact, yet I know why. Here is a secret I’ll share with my kindred spirits who love gardens more than the gardening: lazy gardeners cheat whenever we can.

Plant tough and spreading perennials like coreopsis, cupid dart, blue flax, daylilies, balloon flowers and Missouri evening primrose that need little attention. Grecian windflower anemones add a delicate touch. You can discover easy-care plants to bloom from early spring until frost. In fact, every flower (except the roses) mentioned in this confession are simple care. Though you must remember some watering and to tame the weeds a bit.

Fellow lazy gardeners rejoice! We can create beauty with minor effort – as long as we cheat.

Now if I can just get that grass out of my flowers – any volunteers?

SPRING MORN

Dew-kissed wild flowers

paint

patchwork meadow

songbirds and insects

hum

nature’s chorus

Awake!

 

WEEKEND GARDENER

 The geraniums need bedding.

My roses need dead-heading.

The pansies lost a war with weeds.

Sparrows ate my snapdragon seeds

and now they need resowing.

Naturally, the lawn needs mowing.

The hedges need trimming.

How my head is spinning!

A weekend isn’t long enough

to get the gardening done.

I must work through my vacation

instead of playing in the sun.

Book links:

 http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Karen+E.+Rigley&x=7&y=16

http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?store=EBOOK&WRD=karen+rigley&box=karen+rigley&pos=-1&ugrp=2

 

Mother’s Day Tribute: SHIMMERING SPIRIT

by Karen Elizabeth Rigley

For those of you who still have your mother – cherish her, appreciate her and enjoy her.  Some things are too close to your heart to write about. That’s how I feel about my mom. Even though it’s been over a decade since her passing, it’s still so hard. I miss her every day. Sometimes it a tiny thing – ice skating on TV, a snapshot of her or a sudden memory of her soft voice and warm hugs.

 Such an amazing woman, she possessed unbelievable inner strength throughout all her earthly struggles. Yet, she shimmered with a sweet compassionate spirit, never hurting another soul. She taught by example. She always put others first. No matter her personal hardships, her concern was the well-being of others. She believed in us, expecting the best of all, yet offering forgiveness when we faltered. Never judging or preaching. She lived by an unshakable quiet faith.

Oh, how I admired her. It tears my heart that I sometimes disappointed her. She endured so much, weathering storms of life that would shipwreck most. Yet, even during her darkest times, she’d reach out during the depths to care for others and make sure they were okay. They say that good deeds we do in life stockpile rewards in heaven. Mom earned a lifetime of them just by being herself.

Even toward the end, after a valiant seventeen-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease, Mom hung on as long as humanly possible despite her agony, knowing we still needed her. How I still miss her!

I’m forever grateful for the wisdom she taught me. She lived the Three Cs: Courage, caring and compassion. She knew the secret of life is how we treat others. There’s no one I admire more and it stirs my heart each time I see Mom’s kind, loving spirit living on in my daughter.

REBEL BODY

Even as she sleeps

her legs

tremble, tremble

Lilies

buffeted

 by

wind

She awakens aching,

body weak

shaking

quaking

Kitten

stranded

in the

snow

Kind, arthritic hands

rebellious

quiver

shiver

Tornado

trapped

within

Constant battle of

mind with limbs

Ceaseless,

ceaseless

Wave

beleaguered

shore

Courageous spirit

endures

Memories call

Still

deep

pool

by

waterfall.