I have one knee buried in the dirt and the other comfortably resting on a surprisingly smooth rock.
I’m profusely sweating with drips of said sweat some how finding their way to the inside of my eyelids.
I’m slightly shaking from too much coffee but then shaking more worrying about my shaking.
I’m strategically using my broad back to block the sun from shining on the Astilbe below so I can snap this picture without blinding sunlight.
Why the hell am I doing this again? Oh yeah, to capture that red stem up close and demonstrate how that lends additional interest to this perennial.
I first lay flat on my back on the front sidewalk. It’s 2:45 and my son’s bus will arrive home soon so I have to get this done quickly. I slowly raise my torso so I’m only a few inches off of the scalding hot stone that lines my front walkway. The abs are getting a killer workout, but I barely have enough strength to push the appropriate button on the camera. Thank God I pulled it off, because I got this gem.
Why is this a gem again? That’s right, I wanted to show how these Carex appalachica have a beautifully airy quality, especially when you can view those oh so slight seed heads/flowers.
I try to run at least twice a week. It isn’t a run as much as it is a lot of sprinting and walking. I learned a while back that high intensity intervals are generally better for you than steady state running. So I jog for five minutes and then alternate between 30 second sprints and a minute walk. The entire thing takes close to 40 minutes. I take the exact same path every time. I don’t why these details are necessary, but it’s too late, I’ve already given them to you.
I’m not going to lie, these runs are dangerous. It’s in the middle of nowhere and if I were to ever be attacked or even fall, no one will locate me for days.
By the time I am done with my run, I’m physically and emotionally shot. I can barely walk by the time I make it back to my street.
But there is one final hurdle and this one is the worst of all.
I have to do my best to not view my garden from the street. I’ve gotten really good at staring at the ground until I am at the front door. But every once in a while I make the mistake and take a glance. I’m already exhausted and sore and angry after the run, but the reality of seeing my garden from afar pushes me over the edge.
I realize that the majority of the photos on this blog are close-ups of the garden. That is the best way for you the reader to truly understand the attributes of a plant. It’s also the easiest way for me to make things look all pretty. The best way for me to present my garden in an appealing way. I can hide the fact that most of my perennials start growing late in the season and therefore lead to many open spots. I can hide the warts, and the air conditioner and the not-neatly-spooled-hose.
The close-ups also allow me to highlight plant details that differentiate the more unique and dynamic ones from the mundane. Hence the need for the red stemmed photo and the grass close-up presented at the beginning of this post. I love these details and have made it the focus of this blog for 7+ years now.
But my garden as a whole, that is a different animal.
This isn’t a “woe is me” complaint, but my garden and property is large and open. It provides limitless opportunities which is exciting, but also crippling and overwhelming. The vastness more often than not, dwarfs the garden; the reason why I duck my head after a run. Denial.
I can be in the garden and be proud of all that I’ve constructed the past decade or so, but once I take steps back and look at it in relation to the property, I become disheartened and yearn for a small and intimate space.
So with that in mind, I’m going to present a few photos of my garden after taking a walk backwards. I’m not quite ready to show a view from the street, it’s too soon for that. This is just the first step in my rehabilitation.
There will be no further comments to accompany the photos, just an opportunity for me to allow these to be out in internet land and be comfortable with it.
A truer and more honest perspective of my garden.
I’m scared shitless but happy to put it out there.