Daylilies in June
Note 31: Gardening and good days
I went to the garden early this morning, the garden meaning a new community garden seven or eight blocks away, where I’ve rented one of 16 raised beds (12 regular, 3 x 12, 8 inches tall, and 4 extra-raised, 4 x 4 and almost 3 feet tall, for folks who can’t bend over very well). I planted bean and arugula seeds and a zucchini plant last week, and added some nursery plants today — cherry tomatoes, sweet basil, Greek oregano, parsley.
Just one tiny arugula seedling was poking up, so I’m concerned that no other seeds seem to have germinated yet. Maybe they’re there and they’re just not strong enough to rise through the light crust of soil. I didn’t map out my real estate and plan it well; I’m planting in dribs and drabs. So are a few others, judging by their plots. Aside from the communal working day on May 21, I haven’t encountered any other gardeners at the same time. But I know a little something from they way they plant. Some people plant one plant in that 3-foot width, a parade down the middle with ample soil to the sides, like green-clad models on a runway. Others fit in three or four across, especially someone who really likes peppers. Someone’s beans are high enough to train up with poles and string. Someone does not remove the square plastic pots from the nursery, just sinks the whole thing in the ground. Someone has an incredibly leggy plant I can’t identify — like dicotyledons on stilts. And a couple of people have yet to plant.
It’s a new community garden; the old one was behind a Y that was vacated and offered for sale and still waiting for a buyer. So we get emails from time to time about the rain barrel and the status of a hose and water line, locations of some communal tools, how to get into the newly fenced area, nix that, a better way to get in. You can see communication ruptures and repairs between the lines, but always, the cheer and helpfulness that mark any good community effort.
Out front, in this home I moved into six years ago tomorrow, the daylilies are blooming, orange lilies and yellow Stella D’Oros. At the friend’s garden where I spent many happy hours weeding last summer, and one happy morning so far this year, there are chives gone to flower, various roses (red, peach), columbines, deep red-to-black calla lilies, lavender, moss so healthy it looks like microferns, and many other things, wanted and unwanted.
It’s a season to plant and grow. (And long past time for me to plant a seed here!) There’s so much more I could say, but I’ll hold the stories and get to the what. As a Naomi Shihab Nye poem says, “Every day is a good day if you have it.” Every day of life is a gift, and this is the month of lovely lengthening days to spend well, to look for or drive forward some oncoming beauty (see the previous post). It’s any number of Mary Oliver poems. A joyous rendition of “L’Chaim” (whether the original movie, amateurs in summer theater, or a young not yet well known actor surprising his wife on their wedding day). James Wright bursting into blossom. The people of Nottingham, England, reenacting an iconic Olympic routine, back when we were so innocent about being close to one another.
Figurative daylilies recently, goodness, moments to be grateful for:
Making someone laugh.
Watching a sweet boy in church take turns whispering in his parents’ ears, taking time to part mama’s hair first.
A grown person hugging me after church and holding on to speak into my ear.
Oh-so-sweet CSA strawberries.
A skittish cat bravely holding eye contact, deciding I was safe enough for that.
Neighbors leaving out a bin of sidewalk chalk, writing “Everybunny’s welcome!” and inviting passersby to chalk a rabbit onto the sidewalk.
A family of four out for an evening ride on scooters, with regular helmets for Mom and Dad and cat-ear helmets for the girls.
Blessings on your June plans, your real and imaginary gardens. I’d love to hear about some.