I let the flowers riot in my yard because I need them. I need their persistent beauty, their outrageous blooming. There is enough order in their madness to be my oasis.
Outside the garden, there are curious scenes. I will be getting another epidural injection this week. My mother has lost her mind again. To be a part of my family is to ride that wheel of fire that signals it’s time to lose and find yourself once again.
I’ve discovered that someone I know speaks in partial fiction when she talks about her personal life and there isn’t much point in piercing this illusion. After all, her private business is just that. Still, there is a question that nags at the mind, why bother talking about something if the things cited as facts are not true? There must be a motive, and it’s hard not to wonder what it is. There’s a quality to the situation that easily provokes one’s inner Gladys-the-nosy-neighbor from Bewitched.
I don’t like this heat, but I am apt to complain of temperatures that dare to escape my 10-degree margin of comfort (currently 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit and narrowing by the year it seems). Any day with heat in excess of 80 degrees shall be called anathema; a 95-degree day like today has a name so indecent I shall not write it.
The flowers seem to enjoy this heat if they have enough water. A couple of the hanging baskets dried out a bit by the evening watering time, but I persuaded them back from the brink with a long drink.
Rain has reigned today (homonym intended) with just a few peeks of steaming sunshine. We’ve already had an inch of rain today, and an omen of more appeared in the street:
I don’t think we’ve had enough wind today for the pool to have arrived via a strong gust. Maybe all the owner’s children have outgrown so small a pool, so this freight of early childhood was slyly discarded in a way that commemorates past neighborhood floods.
Our garden has needed this rain. The yard looks like shorn straw in places, which oddly reminds me of that episode of Spongebob Squarepants wherein Spongebob realizes that he becomes bleached rather than tanned in sunny weather. That is one thing I won’t forget about my own daughter’s early childhood, Spongebob’s sometimes edgy humor. That episode about the Krusty Krab training video is quite subversive. It makes me consider that while we are lucky that one’s first job is no longer dangerous child labor (at least in this part of the world), there is still something a tiny bit soul-crushing about selling one’s labor for the first time, especially if that buyer trains with patronizing cheesiness. By the way, I feel lucky that I work for a business that doesn’t have corny, dumb-downed training materials. I once worked for a now-defunct retailer whose training video on loss prevention featured an elderly woman slipping a set of steak knives into a purse that matched her babushka.
Back to the garden, the sudden rain enriched the ditch that runs between our backyard and an adjacent wetland. Somehow a Dutch iris has emerged in the ditch:
The rest of the ditch has adopted an Ophelia-worthy pose like these water lilies before bloom:
This year we decided to add morning glories and a trellis to the garden. The seedlings are starting to grow leaves and were undoubtedly grateful today’s rain:
My pots and hanging baskets continue to prosper:
The petunias above have quickly earned my favor in this year’s garden. A garden full of petunias and its petite cousin calibrachoa is a somewhat lazy choice, but they can provide reliable color and joy for nearly half the year.
Since I am apt to think in tangents during most of my waking hours, I present a photo which reminds of a Stevie Nicks’ album title, The Other Side of the Mirror:
Once upon a time, such a title could evoke all sorts of feminine mystery. In my teen years, I’d imagine that the other side of the mirror held a land full of light-hearted witchcraft and Adonis-like suitors who’d ignore the perfectly preserved plush animals of one’s youth that would punctuate the decor of your lair.
Nowadays the notion of the other side of the mirror seems entirely different. In an age of cell phone photography and video, the other side of the mirror can mean a couple different things. At best, it is all the visuals of one’s life we’d rather not share, from the double chin that emerges while one is reading or writing to evidence of clutter and projects undone. At worst, the other side of the mirror is just that: a two-way mirror through which persons unknown may see anything or everything about your life. As the late Steven Jesse Berstein proclaimed in “This Clouded Heart“: “You feel like you are watched when you are private, and even when you are not private, you cannot choose your audience.”
In the picture above, you see the things lined up against the back of the house, a hose imperfectly wound along with spare propane tanks and a grill in need of a new cover. Then there’s the trash can, which I suppose is the terminal expression of that other side of the mirror, the footage left on the cutting room floor of daily living.
As for the pinwheels that have appeared in the garden, they are part of a small bounty of items my husband bought at an antique tractor show a couple years ago. It seems that most gatherings related to old but useful things have vendors selling all sorts of items. In the sweltering heat, he found a booth selling all sorts of pinwheels, and it wasn’t until this year that we got around to placing them in the garden. Unfortunately, we’ve had some wicked wind lately that dismantled a couple of them.
I will close this post with a few more images from the garden: