A Lot of Work Ahead of Me

Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Birch
Sunny and cold

I have a lot of decisions ahead of me. I have a reasonably large space in the front yard, and a quite large space in the back yard, and I have to decide what to do with them, come spring and summer.

I don’t own the place, so I’m limited in the amount of in-ground planting I can do; most of it will be container. There are some new bushes in the front, at least some of them azalea. There’s a rhododendron on the side of the house, some bushes that I hope are forsythia, a pair of oaks in front I’ve nicknamed “Gemini”, and oak, pine, and cedar in the back.

There’s a raised planting bed that was once used for vegetables; I’m watching the light move across it on sunny days, trying to figure out if I can use it as is, or if the trees around it have grown up so tall it won’t get enough light.

The front looks rather bare; the two small Alberta Spruces I bought to flank the door help, and I’ll probably leave them there until I get some planters with blooms in for spring. I’m tempted to put a stone bench in front of the oaks, and get a sundial for the front, along with arrangements of containers. It’s a reasonably safe neighborhood, but there’s still the worry that stuff left in the front could be stolen.

I want at least one gazing globe for the back, some statuary, an assortment of plants and, especially culinary and medicinal herbs. I also need patio furniture and a lawn mower, and it all needs to be done on a budget.

I’m not quite sure yet what I’ll do, and I know I won’t get it all right the first time. “Enchanted cottage garden” is pretty much my style, with one of two light touches for formal. I want it comfortable and interesting without looking too forced. Plus, I’ll make mistakes as I learn, and things will die or not look good and I’ll have to try something else.

And I’m on a budget.

So I’m reading everything I can get my hands on, trying to figure out what grows best here, what I can grow in containers, and keeping my eyes open on Craigslist and in the papers for sales, etc.

It’s a little intimidating, but it will also be fascinating to see how it evolves.



The Kindness of Neighbors

Saturday, December 25, 2010
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month: Birch

I’m used to apartment life. Yes, I had to shovel out the car in the parking lot, because the plow’s idea of plowing the lot was to scrape the center and bank all the snow against the backs of all the cars. I knew it would be different in a house. However, I thought I could ease into it.

But I was taken unaware, last weekend, when we had a foot of snow. I had a shovel, but it was heavy, wet snow, and I knew it was too much for me to handle.

I knew that one of the neighbors down the street runs a plow business, so I was strapping on my boots and shrugging into my coat, planning to traipse down the street, knock on the door, and see if he could fit me in at some point in the day.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the door to find that two of my neighbors brought over their snowblowers and plowed me out — just because!

Now that’s what I call Christmas Spirit!

Have a Merry one, everyone!


Winter Solstice – New Beginnings

Winter Solstice 2010
December 21
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Snowy and cold
Full Moon
Lunar Eclipse

This year, it will be different.

How often have I said that? Every year since I can remember. For years, I’ve had the fantasy of a garden. I’ve grown whatever I could in various apartments, be it right off Times Square, or in a Westchester County apartment where scumbag landlords used toxins so severe plants and animals died.

But this year, it WILL be different, because I no longer live in an apartment. I no longer live in New York. I am living where I’ve wanted to live for many years, on Cape Cod. I have a yard that’s about three times bigger than I realized when I rented the place. I’ve learned how to rake and bag leaves, how to take them to the dump. I’ll have to buy a lawn mower, which, to me, is more intimidating than walking down 42nd St. at two a.m. I have a still room for my herbs, and I’ll be growing some my own herbs and vegetables.

I can’t wait.

I have a lot to learn — from Times Square to Cape Cod is quite the shift in scenery (and everything else).

I look forward to learning, trying, and even making the mistakes.

I sit here, inside, watching the lovely snow pound down, wondering when I should go out and start shovelling, but, mostly, enjoying the peace and the ability to genuinely experience the ebb and flow of the seasons.

I hope you’ll join me on the journey. Your comments are always appreciated. I plan to post once or twice a week, more often during the summer if it’s appropriate.

And why not start on the Winter Solstice in the middle of a lunar eclipse that hasn’t happened this way since 1638 or 58 or whatever it is?

Merry Solstice, may the light shine on your flower beds, and may there be GENTLE rains!