It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new.
But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.
There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Garden Thoughts ~

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
~Dorothy Frances Gurney, "Garden Thoughts"

I grew up in the   Southern U.S.  and there were gardens there that one had to ride a tractor to  plant things or pick them   .
But   when it was picking the tomatoes or beans or berries time, my cousin and I would be the ones to be called to duty.
I hated it. 
Bugs bothered me, it was hot, I wanted to go swimming, whine whine and I didn't even like beans  !

My grandmother was one of those old fashioned Southern women who could cook anything  from "scratch" .. she would call  my cousin and I to her house and we were given buckets and sent out to pick blackberries. With the bribe, if we pick them, she would bake a blackberry cobbler for us , so off we went  to the blackberry thicket where we picked one, ate two, got purple stains on our hands, our mouths, probably our teeth and came back with buckets full of fat, warm from the sun, blackberries and a few  chigger bites too. 

( Chiggers... these tiny bugs that burrow under your skin and make you itch like crazy until your mom puts some odd home remedy on them, that smells awful and they quit itching)

My cousins and  I  would play outside in Grandma's yard until she called us in to have bowls of warm cobbler.
Even if I made it myself, today, it would never taste as good as it did then.

My mom had her own version of gardens. She had roses growing in front of the house, climbing all the way to the roof. She had giant Iris growing around the bird bath , great dark purple things that I always love whenever I see them, they transport me back to my Southern wild child days when we could stay outside and play until dark, then we were all expected to be home . 

My other grandmother lived in this little cottage sort of house and every window was full of violets and she and my grandfather were good at getting anything to grow and grow large. He planted Dahlias  that were as big as sunflowers. The side of their house had fragrant vines of flowers covering it .. hummingbirds would dart in and out. The lived in San Diego and I still have vivid memories of the house and gardens.

I have tried over the years to have a garden. We did have tomatoes that grew well, I had herb gardens that were successful. 
But then we moved into an apartment in Oregon where I could only grow things in pots on the terrace.
So I consoled myself by going to the Japanese Gardens in Portland.
This was for me, the garden lover, the same thing as going to another planet. 
The Garden Planet.  
As far as the eye could see, varieties of amazing trees and reeds, and flowers and ground covers and vines and you name it, it grew there and it was very green.

Now we live in Buenos Aires. 
A huge city, full of buildings, cobblestone and paved streets, as far as the eye can see, buildings and streets.
There is a Japanese Gardens in Buenos Aires. A gift from Japan. A gift that I and my family enjoy often.

Here and there in the neighborhoods are green parts. In my opinion, not nearly enough but at least there are some green spots.

In Palermo, the Plane trees ( just like those in Paris) on each side of the street, meet over the street, creating these tunnels of green shade.

In our neighborhood there are the Parks. 
They start at Plaza Francia, by the Recoleta Cemetery and continue on down the big Avenue Libertador as a series of parks, one is the Museum Park, one is the Park with the Flora Generica and on down to where there are some large Embassies.

I call them Our Parks.
We start out at Plaza Francia and across to the Museum of Fine Arts and their park and continue along.
 And here I get my " Garden Fix" .. there are the trees. I still don't know the names of them all and they continue to amaze and amuse me with
their odd little characteristics. The fat bulbous bottom with thorns sticking out , but with feathery leaves and flowers that draw hummingbirds.
The Jacarandas that flower with the tiny purple flowers that soon lie on the ground like a purple carpet,    filling the air with their  scent when they are in full bloom, the best perfume, I wish I had a bottle of it.

Then on down to the last park where the rubber trees are still standing, at least 100 years old, as big as apartment buildings, a single branch as  large as the trunk on most trees. I have these flashes of what it would be like to be a small child who likes to climb trees, these are made for such a thing.

So this is where I go now when I need a garden, when I need Green or Flowers or butterflies and the sound of birds. 

On my balconies, I have flowers and plants growing, those are my tiny gardens. But someday, I am going to have a larger one. 
Not one that will require the tractor, but at least one big enough to maybe have some tomatoes and a berry bush.
Who knows, there might even be little children around that I 
will hand buckets to and send them out to collect something for 
me to put in a cake.


  1. My day is ruined...I will think of nothing but blackberry cobbler and it is a good three months before I can have the first one!!!!!!

  2. Come back to Jersey in a few year...we can provide the kids to pick the berries. :)

  3. wonderful memories! and like tricia, volunteering my little willow to harvest your garden :)

  4. Candice, have you been to the Rose Garden lately? They have done a magnificent job restoring it, I have never seen it so beautiful in my entire life. That's another place to go and just seat and enjoy on a sunny day.

  5. We have to go to the Rose Gardens right away !
    Gracias, Sandra !!


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