Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Found Time

Things are finally slowing down for me.  I have been playing softball two nights a week and sometimes on the weekend since late April.  But our softball season finally ended with a pizza party last night.  Not having something scheduled on Monday and Tuesday nights now seems like a luxury.  Somehow, that extra time on the calendar makes it feel as if other pockets of time have opened up.

I know this Moonflower bloomed a couple days ago for the first time but this is the first open bloom I have seen.

This morning, for example, I found a few extra minutes to wander in my garden before my work day began. 

A Zephyr Lily about to open.  Maybe tomorrow morning I will have a chance to check on its progress.

Most of the design-oriented blogs and books I have read suggest planting colors that will look good during the time of day that you are most likely to actually be in your garden.  I always thought that time was going to be late evening so I have planted a lot of whites and pale blues. 

I know containers "should" have a thriller, a filler, and a spiller but I gravitate toward the spillers.
This container includes both sweet potato vine and bacopa.

But more and more I am finding time to enjoy the garden in the morning.  The light is soft and gentle.  It is quiet in my neighborhood.  There are fewer things competing for my attention.  There is still water on the plants.  It feels tranquil and contemplative. 

Water glistens on the late summer growth of an Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Orangeola'.

I have noticed, too, that when I take a stroll in the morning, I am less likely to feel compelled to do something.  In the morning, I don’t need to prune the roses, pick the weeds, sweep the patio, or move a clump of grass because there will be time and enough daylight for those things later. 

This is a phlox hybrid called 'Intensia Blueberry' by Proven Winners.  It's a new plant for me.
It could use some deadheading, but there will be time for that later on.

As autumn approaches, as the summer sun sets earlier, as the heat begins to relinquish its sway, I am thankful for extra time because I know that a gardener’s fall is filled with new chores, new things blooming, and new ideas.  I want to taste and to savor these beautiful mornings and stolen moments.  I want to have my fill and get fat on them because I know that soon enough the memories of these moments will need to sustain me until spring when everything, including softball, begins again.    

Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' - A common Japanese maple with uncommonly beautiful coloring in spring and fall.

This is my back corner bed.  It is filled with plants and it is filled with chores.
But this morning I just enjoyed it and didn't try to edit anything.


  1. I love morning in the garden for exactly that reason -- it's just a time to be. The weather is cool, I'm still half asleep, the light is lovely and soft... I do a lot of aimless moseying in the morning. Hope you continue to find those stolen moments to savor!

    1. Thanks, Stacy. It sounds like you know exactly how (and why) this time was so nice for me.

  2. I love the bacopa!
    I never thought about planting towards the time that one will be in the garden, but that makes sense. Maybe that's one reason I gravitate towards bright colors in the garden - I'm usually out in the garden in the heat of the afternoon during the kids' nap/quiet time.

    1. Indie, thank you. I love the bacopa too. When it's blooming and healthy there's nothing else like it in my yard. I have a hard time keeping it nice looking after a while though.

      As for the bright colors you like, it does sound like it's at least partly due to you being out in the afternoon. They do say that reds and oranges look their best in the bright sun.

  3. I love that you use the phrase 'pick weeds.' That is the same thing my daughter said when she was small, making no differentiation between our harvests of 'The Stuff to Try (her name for our vegetable garden),' and the tidying up of the rest of the garden. That really took me back. Thanks for that, Chad!

    1. Calvin, kids say the darndest things, don't they? Sometimes, my 4.5 year old daughter will say something slightly amiss and yet somehow it seems poetically insightful.

      Recently she used the phrase "that song is singing in my head" instead of sayig what we normally say about a song being stuck in our heads. I thought that was perfect and accurate. And I will probably be saying that for decades now.

  4. Sometimes in the early morning before work I try to slip out into the garden, but I usually don't have enough light or time. But when I do, it's sweet bliss. After worrying about not having enough time, I'm glad you've found a bit more. :o)