Jul 12, 2015

A ruby dress for a gardner

- I would like to come visit you, what would you like to do?!

Linda is the unusual combo of a sound engineer and a gardner. She is in my film crew and that’s how we know each other. She was also the unexpected angel who offered to stay with me and take care of me for two days at Christmas when I fainted during my choirs Christmas concert because of a 102°F (39°C) fever. That’s Linda.

To say I have a garden is too much. I have a front yard. Surrounded by my house, the baker’s cottage, the coach house/wood shed and a white picket fence. The front yard is pretty much a big lawn, a lot to mow for my poor sons. But there is also my grandfathers old apple tree surrounded by a round black wooden deck. The four new apple trees Trouble & Trouble and I planted 2009 during my chemo, in my mother’s sea of lupins in front of the outhouse at the woods edge. 

The flower bed at my house vanished when I had to dig up the sewer system last summer, but the one in front of the baker’s cottage is still there. If you can find it that is, it’s totally overgrown by weed and grass and God knows what. I used to have pots and boxes with summer flowers all over the yard, but as I can’t carry, bend down and be on my knees I am dependent on help to make that happen. And for every year now I am asking for less. The main thing is to get the lawn mowed.

It’s one thing being without the summer flowers, I can live with that even though it’s a bit sad. But what really wears on me is everything that’s become overgrown. Flowerbeds. Stone settings. Trees falling down from age. Nature doing what it does when mans hand is not there to dress and mother.

-  I would like to come and visit, what would you like to do?! Just hang out, go away somewhere, do something in your garden?

Well, the answer was simple. For one thing, I can’t even come up with going away somewhere, my life is a circle of being on my couch, going to treatments and picking up groceries, I realize I can’t even think outside that box anymore! But, when a gardner wants to come visit offering gardening as a choice, well…

So, Linda arrived Sunday evening, her car packed with bags of good soil, summer flowers and perennials. While being eaten by aggressive moskitos she dug out the flowerbed in front of the baker’s cottage, it was still there! She found the stone setting that diveds it from the lawn as well as some healthy perennials. The white rose bravely climbing the wall wasn’t only dead offshoot, but fresh green sprouts wanting life. And those little pions, would they choose life to, if they had a chance?

Linda dug out the old weed pested soil and replaced it with black nutritious. She saved some columbines and the pion that looked the strongest. Then she planted three white hardy geraniums which she had brought, took out a couple of tiny pions and planted those at the old granit foundation from the long gone barn. Perhaps they would like the warmth from the granit and the light?

At around 11PM I called her in. It wasn’t only the moskitos, it was cold too. Time for hot tea and strawberries. And talks. We talked until the middle of the night, then slept some. And in the morning she finished up the flowerbed and tried to make two of the young apple trees feel better. Then planted a couple of summer flowers as treat for my eyes on my balcony and the tiny baker’s cottage front porch.

The 2015 Swedish summer has up till now been ridiculous. And no signs for any changes in the forecast. Cold cold cold. Rain rain rain. More like a Seattle winter. But my baker’s cottage looks like risen from the dead. It would have made my parents so happy. And the whole feel of my front yard is lighter. I am in the illusion of being in control. 

Illusion of course, because nature is always in control. As long as there isn’t a gardener coming my way. But maybe there is. I sent her off with a bribe. A long ruby red dress from my closet fitted her perfectly, and her waist long black hair was just the perfect accessory. Once again Linda came here as an angel. And it was nice for the both of us that I didn’t faint and run a fever this time.

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