Monday, June 27, 2011

Garden Grows (Slow)

'Tis July: cicadas whine in maples, cardinals sing in the sugar-gum, hot wind hums in pines. Ah yes, the hot winds. The hot, HOT, hot winds. Alas.

The weeks of July have brought down upon the nation a heat wave heavy as lead. Highs have reached into the triple digits with maddening regularity, and the Winter "garden" has suffered. The hydrangea hangs her head, the lawn loses green. Even the tomatoes seem fatigued. And I, sorry blogger that I am, have put off my garden update too long, it seems. It should have been done in glorious June, when all was lush and (relatively) cool. But garden update there will be, heat or no.

Heat or no, fast or slow, our "garden" develops. Do you remember how it looked in March?

The scene has improved drastically since March. We have acquired a pallet, a framework and a plan. I should be content with the "garden" as such. Unfortunately, our "framework" was *originally* due to be completed by the contractor in April. April came and went with not a weed shifted, not a bit of ugly concrete removed, not a brick laid. Now, deep in July, the frame is set, the pallet prepared, but heat, lack of growing time, and lack of (ahem) funds have done some damage to my garden, which I had hoped would look like these:

But, in fact, I must content myself with empty and nearly empty beds. In the heat the ground is dry and weeds thrive as the newly planted flowers hang their heads. Alas.

But gardens grow slow. They teach us patience. I must hearken back to what has been accomplished. Piles of reclaimed brick have become a lovely patio. The boxwood hedge is planted (though it is not quite a hedge just yet). The maple is in the ground and alive (though the combination of black-thumb Me and the July heat-wave did its best to kill it). The new grass has also survived. A few perennials light up one bed. And the hydrangeas still bloom their green blooms.

Here are some pictures of our garden, taken in June. Hopefully they will give you an idea of the progress made, and hint of things in store for us in the future. Stay tuned for future posts on "Winter Garden Stage 2: Inspiration and Perspiration."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hattie Shoot, 9 Months

Harriet is Nine Months Old. She has become a little lady, and a little hard to keep up with--though just now, as I type she is sleeping blissfully on my shoulder. But when this moment passes (all too soon, I fear), she will be running (er, *crawling very quickly*), dancing, singing, climbing stairs, climbing bookshelves, climbing onto rocking chairs, opening drawers, opening trashcans, opening toilets, eating leaves, eating rocks, eating dog hair, eating paper, eating leaky pens. I think you get the idea.

As you can see, Hattie has a new haircut. We are enjoying the sight of her lovely (grey? green? hazel?) eyes once again. She also is sporting her first Battle Scar on her wee little nose. With great fortitude and zeal Hattie went into battle against our new brick patio, and the brick patio won.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Home on the Range

Last week Devin, Harriet and I journeyed out into the Flint Hills where the Kansas City Symphony was putting on an outdoor concert. The music was lovely, including Dvorak (my favorite!) and the (obligatory but fun) run of Copland.

But though I am thankful for classical music, I am deeply grateful for the clean Kansas landscape that we were able to enjoy. The Flint Hills are strikingly beautiful, the prairie is full of peace. I came back to Kansas City wishing I could stay out in the country a little bit longer.

I remember especially: the smell of hay and dust. Pure sky unbroken. Horses very far away. The sound of meadowlarks. The song of crickets. Dogwoods waving silver and green in the gulley. Grass turned gold. Pulled pork on white plates. In the meadow, a thousand people listening.