mulberryshoots

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: summer

starters . . .

a group of morning glory seedlings

a group of morning glory seedlings


morning glory seedlings planted near the clematis

morning glory seedlings planted near the clematis


Spring has been optimal for growing this year: alternating sunny, dry breezy weather interspersed with showers and soaking rain, sometimes for a couple of days. I am often surprised why people object to rain when it is so important to the natural cycle of things. Our Sassafras trees have the most graceful leaves when they unfurl in May.
lush white and pink in the front triangle garden

lush white and pink in the front triangle garden


in front of the barn

in front of the barn


For at least a decade, we have had a planting ritual for “Heavenly Blue” morning glories right around Memorial Day. There’s a nursery in Framingham, about a half hour’s drive towards Boston that grows and sells morning glory seedlings that are about four inches high when I purchase them. The seedlings are not that easy to find and while I’ve tried growing them from a packet of seeds, they don’t seem to want to sprout for me. So I buy a flat of seedlings and place them in the shade under the rhododendron bush to keep cool until we have a chance to plant them. I cluster a four-pack together and plant them in the ground. Then G. measures out fresh twine from the decking above and anchors the string to a brick which nestles in the earth right next to the seedlings. As they grow, they wind themselves around the string and climb. This year, I planted clusters near the purple wisteria vine and the white wisteria vine in the front, thinking that by the time the morning glories bloom, the other flowers, roses and such would have gone by. One new place was near the clematis arbor (see photo above) where there is a wrought iron trellis that branches out in both directions under the stained glass window. I thought that they might take and clamber up the trellis to grace the house sometime in late Summer, early Fall.
"Before" planting wildflower seeds

“Before” planting wildflower seeds


Finally, there’s a very rocky, poor soil area in the front near the street where G. pulled up the weeds and crabgrass, brought some compost over from his mother’s house across the street and the guys put in a stone pathway, sprinkling a mixed assortment of Northeastern wildflower seeds throughout. Afterwards, it rained for about two days, sometimes a heavy downpour from Hurricane Andrea in the middle of the night. Then, the sun came out and for the last couple of days, it has been temperate, sunny and dry with a light breeze: perfect weather for sowing and growing!

All of this is just to belabor a little bit the plantings that we made last week.
What’s most fun is to see what comes up and how they flourish as the Summer and Fall gently roll by. Later, that is.

In the meantime, here are some photos of early roses and right-on-time peonies.

apricot roses by the barn

apricot roses by the barn


climbing roses

climbing roses

peonies along the driveway

peonies along the driveway

Note: to enlarge photos, click once; to magnify, click again.

simplifying. . .

We’re a few weeks into the summer and I’ve been making some headway toward getting things cleaned out (see previous post, “Holding On”.) Yesterday in the muggy heat, I gathered up all the CDs in their plastic holders and many not. I laid them out on the table according to composer and kind of music. Finding the right cases for the loose disks was like playing the game, “Memory,” and I’m relieved that mine seems to be holding its own.

I found a dozen favorite CDs that I hadn’t listened to in awhile: Mendelssohn cello pieces played by Steven Isserlis and Saint Saens piano concerti played by Stephen Hough. All bright, optimistic melodies from the 19th century. The set of Schubert sonatas played by Radu Lupu also made it into my iTunes library on my laptop. I discovered that I buy multiple recordings of the pieces I like in order to listen to different pianists perform them. For example, I have Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavichord recorded by Rosalyn Tureck, Angela Hewitt, Sviatislav Richter, Till Fellner and Glenn Gould. Ditto the Chopin Ballades by Maurizio Pollini, Claudio Arrau and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Beethoven late sonatas played by Alfred Brendel, Maurizio Pollini, and Claude Frank.

Today, I’m going through the rest of the books that I started to weed out last week. There are many books that I value that I don’t look at anymore. I haven’t wanted to just donate them anywhere because I’d like them to be available to others. So yesterday, I talked to someone at the Worcester Public Library who said they’d be happy to take them along with CDs. They also suggested donating books to the local vocational school libary–such as cookbooks. I’m glad these outlets are available for these remainders from my libraries. It allows my conscience to know that they may be part of someone else’s reading and listening life.

There are lots of books to sort through, similar to the task of going through all the CDs yesterday. The result though, is a renewed awareness of not only what I have and want to keep. But also a renewal in appreciating the music I’m going to listen to while I sort through the books, a stack of them growing beside my chair that I want to read the rest of the year.

So, simplifying has been enriching for me in ways I did not anticipate. Meanwhile, the house is stacked with cartons that make the place look like we’re getting ready to move out. When what we are doing this summer is getting ready to move on.