10.30.2013

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

 As I took my camera out after dinnertime today, the daylight was fading...but it hung on for me. First I checked the lettuce I had planted a few weeks ago. It's growing well underneath the hoop house we have over one of the raised beds. I may spread a leaf mulch layer around it this weekend to keep it a little warmer at night. Truly, this is a little experiment for us.




The garden needs a good tidying up. I need to pull up the dead plants and throw them in the woods before the ground freezes. I have learned my lesson in previous years. And besides, cleaning the garden is kind of a ritual. It always has a nice feeling when it's cleaned out for the season. It's kind of like the feeling you get when you take down your Christmas decorations....you don't want to let go....but there is something so refreshing about the clean space.




The groomed raised beds lend themselves to this gardener's brain, much as I suppose a blank canvas would beckon to an artist's brush. It's a place to dream for the next season...a place to plot, and plan and map out.





I couldn't help but photograph the zinnias in all the different stages of the lifecycle.






I thought back to spring, when I planted rows of seeds in the two beds at the entrance to the garden.  Zinnias are so forgiving when directly sown into the soil. A little TLC goes a long way. Honestly, I don't thin, and I pack in the seeds. 






All summer I  have enjoyed the colors,  the textures....the gently unfurling petals that serve as a resting platform for bees and moths and hummingbirds.






And today, the feeling remained. Even as I photographed the brown leaves, the faded blooms, I couldn't help but think about the fact that these faded blooms were no longer beautiful to many. The imperfections somehow made them no longer needed or wanted. 





I think about the curse society has placed on us to be enchanted with beauty and youth and to have disdain for imperfection or age.






Instead, we need to search for our own idea of beauty...






I choose to relish the vibrant, 






yet thoroughly enjoy 





the withered,






the searching,






the faded.






After all, ON THE INSIDE, each of these flowers is the SAME!






Each has a seed that will someday give way to new life.




Another lesson learned....in the garden.

Pop by to see Liz for Fresh Cut Fridays!!
Link up your favorite flowers!


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Sorry I have been gone all week.
My husband was having chest pains. After many tests, it was discovered that he had 3 blockages. I am SO very grateful that they were found and fixed. It has been a scary few days. We have been blessed with a tomorrow.....

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20 comments:

  1. So thankful that your husband is doing ok and that the blockages were caught in time!

    Next spring you'll have to coach me on planting the seeds you sent me!

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth. Unfortunately he ended up back in the hospital last weekend with another minor blockage. It was opened with medication. My mom was also in last weekend. It's been a bit crazy around here!

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  2. First of all, I am so happy that your husband is on the mend and his condition was caught in time...sending many prayers for a good recovery.

    I am much the way you are, I want to hang on to my plants forever but I love a good clean up! And I spend a good portion of the winter dreaming and planning next year's garden beds.

    I am so wanting to plant zinnias next year, they were the pride and joy of my grandfather's garden. Do you scatter seeds, plant them in a row or just make little bunches of them (the way I do!)?

    Take care and sending many positive thoughts. Would love to have you stop by!

    XO,
    Jane

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    1. Thanks Jane. He is mending....after a return trip last weekend.

      I also spend the winter dreaming of next season's gardens.

      I plant in rows, but not neat rows. I jam them MUCH closer than recommended, and I am always blessed with a gorgeous show of color and varieties.

      Thanks for the sweet thoughts!

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  3. My best to you. I've often thought I probably would ignore symptoms, so your husband is a good example why we shouldn't.

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    1. Yes Donna, people must get these symptoms checked!

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  4. Oh you poor thing... and your husband, too.. what a scary time! I'm glad they were caught and fixed before something awful happened. Hang in there and enjoy your Autumn. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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    1. Thanks Teresa! Things are gradually improving!

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  5. GOD BLESS YOUR HUSBAND! I am so glad you had this looked at immediately! My husband was having leg pain this summer and upon swift evaluation, they found he had a blood clot!

    I agree with you that the garden has much to teach us about OUR OWN cycle of living. Why does society keep placing more value on the young when it is the aged who know the ropes? Do you know any of Mary Oliver's poetry? If not, you must read everything she writes. She celebrates nature in a pure way, and is my favorite poet. You must read her while in the garden, in the quiet my friend.

    ENJOY. And...best wishes to your husband! Anita

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    1. Thanks so much Anita! Glad that your husband is ok too!

      I have not read Mary Oliver, but I will look into this!
      Thanks for your friendship!

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  6. I just came in from cleaning up part of my garden..cut down the dahlias and the cannas. I can't decide whether to dig up the dahlias: down here it's not really necessary and last year they came back just fine. But they were def. overgrown and a mess! So I might try digging up half of them and see….. and yes, I cut back many of the zinnias.
    What a scare for all of you with your husband. Take good care of him and I am SO glad it has turned out for the best.oxox

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    1. I quickly pulled out my dahlias last weekend, as it was supposed to get into the 20's. They don't do well here if we leave them in. I am looking forward to planting them earlier next spring. I was amazed at how they had quadrupled in size and quantity. Thanks for your sweet wishes.

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  7. I needed to come back and read this again. The way you tie your thoughts to your pictures is stunning. This post could be a little coffee-table book! You posts in general would make a beautiful big coffee-table book and I would buy it!(I often try to comment but our internet has been so slow lately that I lose connection) just want to say I loved and re-read your '48' post a few times; so good as they all are. So glad to hear your hubby is okay. They can do so much these days for hearts if one gets a warning before anything more serious. (My dad had a heart-attack a month ago!) My hubby found out 2 years ago that he has a damaged valve and they told him they can't believe that he didn't have a stroke! I often recall words you've written. This morning I woke up and thought, yes, we have been blessed with a tomorrow!
    And you have inspired me to try zinnias in my garden. I got a bunch of seeds from my sister-in-law and can't wait to plant them! next spring. Finished the last of my garden clean-out yesterday and you captured the feeling perfectly in these words...'It always has a nice feeling when it's cleaned out for the season. It's kind of like the feeling you get when you take down your Christmas decorations....you don't want to let go....but there is something so refreshing about the clean space.' Thank-you for your posts.

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    1. Janet, I am not sure you realize this, but this comment has really carried me through the last week and the craziness of it all, including my husband returning to the hospital for 2 days.

      I work so hard on perfecting my photos, choosing the right words....but at the same time, I want to remain true to me and what I am all about. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for making me feel like my posts have meaning not just to me, but to others as well.

      Enjoy the weekend!

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  8. I am so glad your husband went to the doctor and caught the problem quickly. Hope all is well now.

    I still have a few zinnias in bloom. I think next year I will definitely use seeds instead of planting grown plants.

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    1. Thanks Carol.Things are better....although there was a bit of a complication this week, hopefully we can move forward.

      If you order seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is my favorite place to order seeds. They have a lovely selection, and are totally non-GMO.

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  9. You are so right about society's influence on our views of aging... you have inspired me with your photos to go out and take photos of my favorite but now faded flowers as well! I am glad about your husband but sorry to hear about Stormy... my prayers are coming your way my dear New England blogging friend!
    Hugs

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    1. Thanks so much Beth.....all of this kindness is equally as inspiring to me!

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  10. I am so glad your husband is doing better. What a scary time for you all. It's great he understood the warning signs and sought help. Your post was so lovely. You have inspired me to plant more zinnias. I am planning on creating raised beds next year. It is encouraging to read about your gardening successes after my year of failure!

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    1. Thanks for your kindness. Go for it with the zinnias. They are a GIFT and so easy!!

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Thanks for chatting!

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