Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Up close in the garden



The bees have been buzzing wildly in the lavender all week, almost like proud mascots. For there is so much going on in our little garden at the moment that Remi declared over a white eggplant the other day, "I swear that I can nearly see it growing. It is not the same size that it was half an hour ago!" I crouched down on my heels to watch closely for a while. Above, perched high in the acacia tree, a nearly comic yet infinitesimally wee bird piped his lungs to bursting in rhythmic spurts. No longer looking, I listened, hanging on to each note as if climbing from one branch to the next, focused.

It seems to be how I like to photograph the little mysteries that I find there (although Remi rightfully chides me that I am not nearly close enough) - our friend Mr. W's enviable raspberries, our Medusa-headed yellow rose - as well as the respectful proximity that suits my senses. With my head deep into our climbing tomatoes, I can differentiate the smell of their leaves with those of the struggling red peppers on the other side of the cane fence (one smokey, the other acrid). The crackled dirt turns as smooth as chocolate mousse after being watered and I often trail my fingers, making the mud pies that I avoided in childhood. It is a clean mess and what care I if there are grass stains on my white shirts or bumpy scratches on my wrists. The last of the wild strawberries melts on my tongue, dissolving as if apologizing for not tasting better, for not have being able to have survived the move towards being tamed. That land will now be scrapped for what lies in one of the four promising packets that rattle when I shake them, gifts from Remi for a future to share.

I have learned that I can weed out any residing anger in me like a madwoman, tearing with both hands, even if my left is faster (which is odd as I am right-handed). And that the garden can take better care of itself than I had imagined. We tend to want to hover, wary of the Provençal sun but of course this earth has memories and knows more than we do of its ways. So best to lean in, keep an open and pay attention. As our garden grows there is still so much to learn. 








I could have never imagined that I would be sharing such cliché images as that of butterflies and bees on lavender...but that is what falling in love will to do a person...


28 comments:

A fan said...

Lovely pictures and sentiments! And also kind of funny - I grow (almost) the same plants in my German garden. Raspberries haven't worked, though, because it's too dry (!!!). Weeding is the best activity to wind down after a bad day at work. My husband sometimes calls me "my little aardvark" (literally "mud-piglet") for a reason. Embrace being cliche. We are at our most cliche selves when we try to avoid cliche hardest.

Cleo from Jersey said...

What a voyeur I must be, peering so hungrily into your garden, with absolutely no interest in creating one of my own!

WaveLength said...

As always, wonder-full! What are those plants in the 3rd and 4th picture from the bottom? I want some!

Sue

Karena Albert said...

Heather, I love to see these up close and personal images of your gorgeous gardens!

xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena
Closer: Michael Clinton

Let's Have Lunch said...

It's a magical time of year for you Heather and caught perfectly in these photos.
Anita xx

Rowan said...

Great photo of the bee in the lavender!
Yes, what are those round purple pod things? Intriguing!
Cheers,
Deb - Melbourne

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

I agree. Gardens are full of wonder and they are also nature's tranquilliser for those with pent-up emotions and frazzled nerves. XXX

Jackie and Joel Smith said...

Oh we have been saying the same thing down here in Greece! Seems the plants grow between purchasing and getting them planted. A lovely garden tour!

Eleanor O'connell said...

That strawberry!

Eleanor O'connell said...

I mean that raspberry!

Tracy Wood said...

How I envy you being able to get your hands dirty and make mud pies Heather. We are between gardens at the moment, and I'm missing having dirt on my hands and the proud emotions of seeing things grow.
Enjoy my friend, xxTracy

Heather Robinson said...

I love that idea and will most certainly keep that in mind - thank you. And "mud piglet" is the BEST word ever... :)

Heather Robinson said...

Oh, I don't blame you Cleo - it's a lot of work!

Heather Robinson said...

Sue, I haven't the foggiest idea! I have never seen them before. I will try to remember to ask the owner of that plot when I see him.

Heather Robinson said...

The others really know what they are doing - it is fabulous to see. And they are so generous with their help too.

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you Neat! So happy to have you here!! I think the crazy times are coming though...

Heather Robinson said...

I don't know!
PS. I have one million photos of the bees in the lavender. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Yes - and to top it off our cell phones don't usually work there so no one can bother us! Hooray! It really is a happy place.

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you! You are going to have to teach me how to say that in Greek! :)

Heather Robinson said...

I knew what you meant, beautiful friend. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Merci, Tracy. They are so addictive in the best possible sense! I keep saying to Remi that getting and planting this garden is one of the smartest things that we have ever done.
I can only imagine what it must be like for you when you do have one...watching every little thing come in and think, "Oh, I know exactly what dish I am going to build around THAT tonight." :)
xoxo

RebeccaNYC said...

Living vicariously through your words and photos! xo

La Contessa said...

Well, I see that did not TAKE LONG.........this NEW FOUND LOVE!
XOXO

Kerry O'Gorman said...

Lovely thoughts...by the way, the mystery plant and pods is Nigella or Love in a mist. One of my favourites especially for the pods. The black seeds are used in Indian cooking and have a very peppery flavour and it's also medecinanlly used for allergy relief.

Sandy said...

How did the rasberry taste? Did you pick some lavender for your home. It all looks so luscious tasting and delishes! Love the photos>

Janey and Co. said...

I have just taken up gardening too. We have a space at the community garden down in town. I sure wish my plants would grow as fast as Remi's!

simpleimages2 said...

The garden bursting with excitement and sweet expectations. The muddy hands hold the pulse of the growing plants. Outdoors in the sun. Camus says many things in life are free. A few,you may add, need a little work.

robin said...

Ha! Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...! Cliche away - we are on your side - love experiencing your garden through your virgin eyes!!! Never having had a garden either, I am also hanging on every little sprout. Love these shots - that yellow rose is insane as is the other flower (?) and other mystery items! As for things growing quickly, we think Bruno gets taller overnight, so I bet Remi can see that eggplant growing! Looking forward to many more garden pics!!!