Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What Grows in the Garden

The peak of summer. My garden is lush with foliage, flowers, and the buds of many edibles: blueberries and service berries, hazelnuts fat for the squirrel to pick off, sugar snap peas late this year from the chilling spring rains. The asparagus have sprouted into high feathery fronds that hide my children and the rabbits, and the raspberries sport small white flowers that buzz with bees.

This year, for the first time, the kiwi trees droop with fruit, although the white peach is sparse after last season's bountiful crop.

We spend a lot of time in our garden. My husband is the primary caretaker; the garden is his genius genesis. I play supporting actor by weeding and dead-heading his prize daylilies, harvesting the bounty and making it part of our dinner staple. Caring for our outside living room, preparing the peas and berries, slows me down, puts me in a meditative frame.

Like my garden, my words slow, become more lazy yet purposive at the same time, unlike the manic rush of writing in the early dark hours of winter.

How does your garden grow?


The Writing... PURE trucking along at a steady pace. I am preparing work for the Harbinger*33 anthology, which has me confounded - what to submit? Something new? Something old and tweaked? I'm running out of time, and my head is full...

My short story DEFECTION placed well in the popular vote in the Editor Unleashed Flash Fiction 40, and snagged a spot in the anthology. I'm grateful for the feedback from readers, and especially thrilled that so many of the stories penned by my writing peeps (especially my Nudgers) will snuggle between the covers with mine.

The Reading... Finished Middlemarch and starting in on The Corrections (Franzen) and Lady Chatterly's Lover, among others. Also grooving on Best American Short Stories 2006, picked up at a yard sale for a dime. Short stories are one of those writing groups I don't eat enough of.

My dad... Thanks all who have shared your concerns and sent good thoughts and prayers. He starts a Phase II clinical trial that may help slow tumor growth. We leave this week to spend some vacation time with him and my mom...

My kids... turn 10 and 7 this week! My little sprouts, my joys, they grow with abundance like our garden.

Peace, Linda

(Garden by Henry, pictures by me)


  1. lovely post, Linda.
    our gardens are burnt down here, rain barrels without rain to fill 'em

    have a safe trip and enjoy!

  2. Coincidentally, we started a veggie garden this year with the understanding that it was going to be a project for the Lady of the Manor. I'm usually not one for grubbing around in the dirt, but putting everything in pots and raising them up off the ground has made all the difference for me. I'm out there messing with it every day, guiding the cucumbers along the trelllis and building support structures for the burgeoning tomato plants. I've really enjoyed it and look forward to taking this years lessons and applying them to next year's effort.

    Anyway, major, major grats on your story. You got picked and finished high in the popular vote, often holding the #1 spot as the contest wore on. It was dangerous air, what with the winged troll darters flitting about, but even they couldn't drag you down.

    Paige, sorry about the drought conditions. I'm sorry to say I don't know what part of the country you live in, but I'm wishing you rain clouds and saturation.



  3. I am so jealous - asparagus! I love asparagus and can only imagine how much more I would love it straight from the garden. Fresh makes all the difference in the world when it comes to veggies.

    And kiwi? I had no idea you could grow kiwi in these climes (I think your clime and my clime are very similar). Cool.

    Congratulations on Defection. Very well written and well deserving of it's high place in the standings.

  4. My garden is full of weeds.
    It has vegetables too; potatoes, lettuce, carrots, radishes, peas, broccoli and the famous Alaska cabbages. Fruit too-- raspberries, struggling blueberries and strawberries.
    Born in western Washington and raised in a gardening family with tons of fruit trees-- I'm pushing the odds here in Alaska's brief growing season by having fruit trees; crabapples, apples, italian prunes and a new pie cherry.

    Every season is an experiment. Some years things grow great gangbusters, some years are skimpy.
    At least I have my little greenhouse loaded full of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, corn [yes corn!] and a few straggler vegetables I stuffed in.
    I spend a lot of time plucking weeds, admiring my seedlings, hoping for good grub come August. I'm thankful for the 6 ft. fence, it keeps the moose from eating all my hard work.

    Congrats on Defection! I'm proud of you.

    Glad to hear about your Dad. Enjoy your time with him.

    take care,


  5. Linda, your garden sounds like a haven. We feel the same way about ours, although we're slaves to it during the summer. Right now, the first raspberries are coming, strawberries were a wash this year, the carrots and beets are in desperate need of thinning. But the flowers are beautiful this year, my shade beds loving the rain and cooler temps we've had. My tiger lilies opened this week--always a favorite time for me. They may be common, but I love their long, strong, bowing stems and the bright orange against the house and the weathered back fence.

    Congrats again on Defection. It was a rich story with no easy answers.

  6. Gardening is ALMOST as addictive as words. Almost. Paige, I did a rain dance for you - and me. I want inches and inches of rain.

    John, the coast is an interesting place to grow veggies - I am curious as to your successes. All that salt and humidity... roses and daylilies do splendidly, though.

    Jon, we are getting a second asparagus crop it's been so cool. Come on down! Kiwi and hazelnuts almost ready for the picking - yippee!

    Kim, ITALIAN PRUNES?! Love them. From what I understand of Alaska, everything grows fast and furious, a true bounty for 2-3 months. Enjoy.

    Yes Greta, my garden is a haven, for me, my family, the birds, and the dratted woodchuck. It's what makes this house a home.

    Thanks all for telling me about your garden. Peace, Linda