Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ode to Mud – the first day of Spring

I’ve been away from the blog for a time with a variety of distractions. But, I couldn’t let the first day of Spring go by without sharing with you a wonderful poem by my friend Bev Brazier.

Bev was part of a writing group whose assignment on one occasion was to write in the style of William Shakespeare, so she created this poem.  Move over, Bill.  Here comes Bev …


And oh, what glorious substance this

That, overnight, it seems, hath come to be

Why, yesterday the world was cold and white

I now behold its changing wordlessly

To darker hues, yet fair to gaze upon, this transformation bold.


And I perceive within my breast

Wherein the heart of me doth beat with unrestrain-ed joy

At such a sight

What ancient, animal and primitive elements do compose me!

Aye, my body formed of good terrestrial stuff as such befits my very presence here

That I should sing

From soul to sun send forth a song which is returned to my delirious throat,

In warmth that gathers ever more each dawn

And clings, with grasping fingers of the light grown longer, daily longer, e’re their flight and slip behind the trees, ‘til darkness blankets all.


I do digress

But still, ‘tis truth I speak

For tho my ken be insignificant

(and ‘twould be fuller had I but attention paid in class

when unto high school did I wend my slow unwilling way)

Yet this I certain know:

Our rounded home upon its axis many times hath spun, and orbiting,

Hath come to such a place in its ellipse

That sister sun

That yellow star

That swirling, boiling, plenteous ball of radiant gas - this very sun is in distance closer now

Than ever it will be.


Such consequence!

When, from my dust stained windows I behold

My outer world, most fair and fresh

The driveway, yard, and very streets around do teem with damp and sticky pools

Of soil, drenched recently by rivulets

From out beneath the mounded snow,

Enlaced with gravel warmed and melting thus by strengthening of sun

It sodden lies

Brown witness to approaching burst of life

Sprung forth in bud and bird.


Yet this do I prefer, its herald.

The slime that clings to even careful feet

Befouling boots, encrusting cars and bellies of white cats

Of floors, a sandy wasteland constant makes

And rending all that walks a soiled and splotched display of nature’s mischievous renewal.


Oh joy!

Oh childlike fierce desire

To jump, and splash, and spatter my most genteel Sunday dress

With slippery, sensuous filth!


And you, my friend,

My muddy true companion on the Way

Awash in newly moistened life

Which from your soul-fed eyes my heart receives

A gift most rare and glorious as soaking spring

Think not that earthy laughter, rooted thus and so in blackened loam

Rends unworthy thy dear name

Nor mars thy countenance from blessing or from blessed.

Indeed, while walking, we, from dust and clay again to dust and clay

The soil is She who feeds us and the more;

Fills up with richness. And to moistureless, antiseptic minds and hands cries Foul!

What honourable estate to reek and drip with evidence of growing things.

Anon. The mud awaits.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Canada’s Garden Making Magazine

I’m impressed!

Yesterday the premier issue of GARDEN MAKING magazine arrived in the mail.

Reproduced with permission from Garden Making magazine.

It’s always a leap of faith when we sign up for a new magazine subscription.  What can we really expect from another gardening magazine?

Well, I like everything about this premier issue.  It’s got a fresh look with awesome photographs, not overloaded with advertising, and a great lineup of contributing writers who have produced some very practical down to earth (pun intended) articles in this issue.

The writing style of editor Beckie Fox draws you in right away.  She says,

One of my goals for the magazine is to have each issue seem like a visit from a gardening friend who shares your passion for plants, is still mesmerized by a newly sprouted seed, wonders why spring is so brief and is giddily optimistic that this will be the best gardening season ever.

Hey, she’s one of us!

Back to the practical articles, there’s a Spring Pruning Calendar with very helpful tips about trimming up various shrubs.   And the one that resonated with me was how to overwinter hybrid tea roses in pots.  A ‘gardening seminar’ is included with great information about starting seeds indoors and outdoors.  Another article by Stephen Westcott-Gratton, editor-at-large of Canadian Gardening magazine, is entitled, “Six Steps to a Beautiful New Border”. 

Garden Making magazine promises at least 70 pages of articles and photos in each issue.

And most of the information is also displayed in an easy to navigate format on their website.

Pay them a visit.  I think you’ll be impressed, too.