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Growing in the dark

Dragonfly lightI firmly believe in enjoying the garden at all times of day. And night. This started last summer, while Steve was in Africa, when I would sit out on my teeny back porch on summer nights, streaming music through my laptop and blogging until it was too dark to see the garden, a glass of wine by my side.

This year, this is going to be a very different summer—I’m healing from a very difficult few months (after all, sometimes a post about a tree isn’t just a post about a tree), and nothing aids that healing faster than watching tomatoes form and herbs stretch out of their pots, and listening to the nighttime call of the owl that lives just across the road.

I’ve been turning the porch into one of my favorite spaces on the property, with its little card table that holds my computer at just the right height, and my perimeter of citronella candles that keep away all but the most determined bugs. But I also took myself to Target recently for a little shopping spree, and, along with the items I needed to fill a few holes in the household inventory, I tossed some dragonfly string lights into the cart.

They’re now hung around my back door, the perfect accompaniment to dinner with friends, or a nightcap on the Night rabbitporch, or an evening blogging session.

They’re glowing over my shoulder right now, in fact. And they’re beautiful. And just out there, beyond the perimeter of citronella-scented flame, there’s a rabbit hopping around (I saw it…and it saw me…and I just let it be. There’s enough goodness to go around tonight, folks, even if you’re a rabbit passing through my garden.), there are tomatoes setting up and ripening, there are fireflies blinking, and there’s a whole summer of opportunity and growth just waiting for me.

16 Comments on “Growing in the dark”

  1. #1 Carol
    on Jun 13th, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    I just got your comment about my rabbit as I was reading about your rabbit. “Let it be” is my motto, too, as long as it isn’t eating the beans (or eggplant or tomatoes or anything else I care about). I wonder if I’ve trapped it yet? I did plant a lot of beans, so I am hoping there are enough for both me and the rabbit(s).

    I also went back and read your post about your tree again…

  2. #2 Christina
    on Jun 13th, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    Beautiful. Just as a plant has regenerative properties, so do people. Healthy healing.

  3. #3 inadvertentgardener
    on Jun 13th, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    Carol, we’re having rabbit synchronicity tonight! I really don’t want the rabbit to snack on my veggies, but they are cute…I will admit that… And I hope there are enough beans for you, and for the rabbit. :-)

    Christina, you’re so right. There’s a grace in resilience, really…even when it’s difficult.

  4. #4 Michelle
    on Jun 14th, 2007 at 4:39 am

    It’s true that gardens can do amazing things. Way beyond the veggies that are so awesome to begin with. It sounds like you’ve got a lovely little spot staked out. Here’s to busy mosquitos and cool evenings that aren’t too humid.

  5. #5 inadvertentgardener
    on Jun 14th, 2007 at 6:34 am

    Michelle, definitely — there are lots of side benefits to gardening that I would never have expected.

  6. #6 steven
    on Jun 14th, 2007 at 9:49 am

    The garden has amazing restorative powers. A day in the garden is like taking a ten-pound Prozac.

  7. #7 treypitsenberger
    on Jun 14th, 2007 at 9:54 am

    Opened a bottle of special wine from Italy last night! Very delightful.
    Talk about “synchronicity”. Yes. its going to be a good summer.

  8. #8 inadvertentgardener
    on Jun 14th, 2007 at 10:13 am

    Steven, a ten-pound Prozac, huh? Yeah…you’re probably right.

    Trey, hooray! Glad you guys enjoyed the wine, and I hope you toasted to great summer adventures.

  9. #9 Katiez
    on Jun 14th, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    I do miss fireflies! There’s something so calming about watching them/for them.
    On the other hand we have daylight until almost 11:00 – that’s a nice compensation..

  10. #10 inadvertentgardener
    on Jun 15th, 2007 at 7:07 am

    Katiez, fireflies are some of my favorite things about summer. I love it when they start appearing…and hate it when they go away. But yeah, daylight until almost 11 would be pretty fabulous!

  11. #11 onlyconnect
    on Jun 15th, 2007 at 9:39 am

    I wondered before when I read your post about your magnolia whether it might be a metaphor, and I thought it was really beautifully written. I wished I had commented then, but I didn’t want to intrude. My best friend has recently gone through something similar, as may I (not sure yet), and I just wanted to say thanks for the beautiful, wise post about letting go.

    I just started gardening this year and have been following several garden blogs for advice, and yours — even though you are not a “master gardener” as some of the garden bloggers out there are — has been by and large my favorite because you are human and go through tough times in your garden (and life) just like the rest of us, and are not afraid of showing everyone the imperfections. I think so much of life is not how we deal with the smooth sailing, but how we manage the tough times. You made it through the walnut tree, and the Crazy Pot Collapse of 2007 — all with strength and grace and even humor, though it must have been difficult. I just think you are a lovely person, and I am hundreds of miles away (in your old home, DC), but I am thinking about you and wishing you much beauty in other areas of your garden if you cannot have a blooming tree.

  12. #12 Alex
    on Jun 15th, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Genie, So glad to hear about your lovely porch set up. Your gardening and blogging, and, well, your energy level are all an inspiration to me. I’m still fantasizing about a place in New York where I can plant some herbs on a windowsill or on the roof. Wish me luck. -A

  13. #13 inadvertentgardener
    on Jun 17th, 2007 at 12:53 am

    Onlyconnect, you know how to get right to a blogger’s heart, eh? Thanks so much for the sweet and sensitive comment…I really appreciate it. I’m glad you stopped by and shared your support.

    Alex, I definitely wish you luck and healthy herbs and a wonderful and exciting experience in New York, filled with fun things and all manner of joy. You’re going to find what you’re looking for, I know it!

  14. #14 Carol
    on Jun 23rd, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    I am so glad to see that you hung your dragonflies up.

  15. #15 inadvertentgardener
    on Jun 24th, 2007 at 12:02 am

    Carol, I wish you’d been able to come and help me. :-) Turned out I needed three strands to get it done — that first strand was definitely not enough!

  16. #16 Go west, young gardener « The Inadvertent Gardener
    on Oct 9th, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    [...] writing this entry out on my little back porch while the sun sets, with a glass of wine by my side, listening to the sounds of the yard and [...]

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