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The Original "Getting Real"

The Original "Getting Real"
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Monday, 6 April 2009

Miniature Gardens

It's become really popular recently to grow your own vegetables and plant your own herbs - and what a lovely way to be! When I was a child, we went to the green grocer's with an old bag (reserved for that purpose), asked for however many pounds of potatoes and the green grocer shovelled them in, soil and all. To bake the potatoes, we had a special sort of nail brush. Nowadays, scrubbing potatoes is a reflex action, but they never need scrubbing because they all come in the same clean shape and size, polished and packed and looking kind of clinical.

Not having a big garden right now, I am growing indoor gardens, and the joy of that, and the difference it makes to the atmosphere of rooms, having growing/living things indoors is wonderful! A couple of weeks ago, on a window sill, I began the herb garden - which is daily tended and shows no sign of life yet. Yesterday, I began the English country garden in a small tray; a conifer, some grass seeds and little shoots from outdoors, looks pretty. Also the Zen garden, of pebbles collected years ago on a beach, some sand and fork, till I make my own rake. Today my delight is the moss garden. I gathered the moss - a little at a time - from the trees in the woods (where, for the first time this year, I heard crickets singing), being very careful not to damage the bark and thanking the good old friends, the ancient trees, for letting me do that. It was so fascinating, as the sun shone through the light green-ness of the spring buds, to see where the moss grows. Still more beautiful is the scent coming from that little tray tonight. It feels like having brought the woods home with me and perfume of the earth is beyond description! More beautiful than 'cedars of the Lebanon' or the most exquisite perfumes in the world! All of these indoor gardens cost nothing, really. I have bought a couple of things - seed trays and compost and the poor little plants that were flagging on the sale-shelf, but the moss garden and the Zen garden can be done without spending a single penny and, when I read of Zen gardens, I thought they seemed a bit barren and was sceptical about their value. Now, having experienced making one, it's so clear how profoundly lovely they are!

On leaving the woods, I saw a little child sitting among the cherry-blossom laden branches of a beautiful tree, having her photo taken. The little child was smiling so beautifully at her family, and the tree seemed so happy to welcome her there. Trees and the growing things are so beautiful, aren't they? For all my dreams and aspirations, I couldn't help thinking what a perfect way to spend a morning amid the kind and wise loveliness of the trees! How blessed I was to be there and how beautiful is the Spring!

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