Saturday, 30 January 2016
I wish I could remember how I heard of this book:
Pearson writes: “I completely subscribe to the theory that the activity you loved doing most as a child—the state of utter absorption—is the very thing you should find a way of repeating as an adult.” That sentence took me back to gardening with my grandmother, and even further back to creating miniature creek beds with pebbles under my parental home’s gutter downspout.
I got a bit anxious when I read this passage:
And I looked up some photos of the straight wide paths leading from the house to the fire circle.Should they be more meandering? Pearson’s paths are made of shale so it’s easier to deal with plants overhanging them. A friend reassured me there is nothing wrong with having a “line of desire”. Back the the book: A description of autumn reminds me of how our view of the port appears as the leaves fall. He explains the winter garden philosophy shared by many gardeners I admire: Because Melissa was soon to bring me another Hamamelis ‘Jelena’, I was pleased to read about the plant’s namesake. As I read, I made a new list of must-have plants. Even though it is a favourite of mine, I have never paid this close attention to Nectroscordum siculum (Allium bulgaricum). I need to learn to look more carefully:
Probably because of having show gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show, Pearson refers thus to the practice of cutting perennials partway through the season:
That is something I learned from The Well Tended Perennial Garden by Tracy DiSabato-Aust.
Several of my favourite perennials get three page spreads:
At intervals, the text is interrupted by four or more pages of gorgeous photos.
I wonder if his neighbour will read the book:
Some useful information about the Iris unguicularis that Todd gave me: a plant I had back in Seattle that dwindled away:
An Eryngium that could be mistaken for a Sanguisorba? I must have this! As those are my two favourite perennials.
Here is a photo of Eryngium ebracteatum from Plant Delights…but no way to order it, perhaps.
Getting this book from the library (via interlibrary loan) was a treat, but I must have my own copy so have ordered one. Of the several garden books I’ve read in the past month, it is my favourite. I’ve placed interlibrary loans for three other books by Dan Pearson and eagerly await their arrival.
Here is the list of plants that came from Home Ground:
Home ground Dan Pearson
Sarcoccoca hookeriana ‘Purple Stem’
Geranium macrorrhizum ‘White-Ness’
Sarcoccocca ruscifolia ‘Dragon’s Gate’
Tulipa sprengeri. Naturalizes and blooms in May
Gladiolus tristis. Night scented. Chartreuse
Tellima grandiflora ‘Purpurteppich’
Tulip ‘Ballerina’ blooms for two years
Epimedium ‘Amanogawa’ (River of Stars)
E davidii. Gold foliage
E myrianthum. Must have
E acuminatum ‘Galaxy’
E fargesii ‘Pink Constellation’
E wushanense. Most dramatic, needs slug bait
E membranaceum flowers for 2 months
Epimedium wushanense ‘ ‘Caramel’ blooms six weeks
Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Rex’ with indumentum, from Great Dixter; promote suckering by hoeing among the roots
Allan and I watch a film or a couple of “our” shows every evening. Tonight, we watched a film called A Little Chaos.
I recommend it to all gardeners. I wept over the recently deceased Allan Rickman, my favourite actor.
The landscaper played by Kate Winslet is asked, “This abundance of chaos, this is your Eden?” Her reply: “My search for it.”
Some of my favourite images:
Sunday, 31 January 2016
…a day consumed by a long sleep, and then by business paperwork, and then by an enjoyable visit by Melissa. I helped her learn to administrate the Facebook page that I created for her business, Sea Star Gardening. She was a quick study and that always makes a tutorial more fun.
Monday, 1 February 2016
The weather, when I finally awoke, was fine, and yet I felt the need for one more reading day before our first work day of the year. Fortunately, rain arrived in mid afternoon, soothing my guilt about not working in my garden.All My Puny Sorrows is set in Winnipeg, city of “two muddy rivers”. I had a look and admired the parks running all along the riverbanks.
I liked that she mentioned another favourite author of mine, Margaret Laurence, whom I have been intending to reread. I was moved by this description of an imaginary but wished for psychiatrist. This is the sort of medical doctor I hope I find in my upcoming quest for health answers:
I adored the daughter’s reaction to the way her mother, from the prairies, is treated by the young and hip during a stay in Toronto:
From All My Puny Sorrows, quoting D.H. Lawrence’s first paragaph of Lady Chatterly’s Lover:
I’m going to work my way through all of Miriam Toew’s books now, including rereading A Complicated Kindness.
The peace of staycation reading time is not entirely over. The pure staycation mood is, though, because tomorrow we must start working occasionally, leading up to full-bore gardening by March (I hope). Looking back on the past month, I was not firm enough in not making social plans, so I never did get the six straight days of reading that I so desired. (I say just six, because I would not want to miss our weekly garden club dinner, even though part of me wants a whole month of just reading.) Next year, if I should be so lucky, it will be different. I will be more determined. I swear.