Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Pulsatilla vulgaris -
Pasque flower"
You know that spring is really here when these start to bloom here.
I have some of these in my garden, brought by transplant when we moved last sumer. This year I expect to have a few blossoms, but nothing like the array that greeted us at the front door in our other home.

In the garden most of the time I put perennials in the garden once, just to get them planted and growing, and then, will move them a few times, before they are in their 'right' place. I guess I am a bit that way with the furniture in my house, as well. I keep re-arranging until, somehow, things find their right place. Home seems to be made up of the right people, stuff - some useful and some that has meaning and history tied to it, and then, an arrangement which feels comfortable. Being 'at home' seems to require some settling in. Sort of like the turns a dog will do, on coming home to rest. Into the corner, then - turning around and around before laying down. Just to get into the right spot. There is the shaping of the resting spot and of the body, both.

I'm doing the same kind of thing at the church. As we prepare for Easter this year, I have less responsibility for planning and leading worship than some years. The youth group is leading the Easter Sunday service - and I'm delighted about it. However, I also feel a bit like being a mom who hosts the family celebrations each year, finding herself at her daughter-in-law's for the holiday the first time. A nice change, to be sure, but, some bittersweetness, letting go of the cherished role a bit as well. I figure that there will be some different experiences to be had this year - and that will be fine. Just different. I'm turning around and around, and re-making the sacred space inside my head and heart.

In the settling in, both at home and at church, there are signs of new growth, possibilities for new experiences, and the joy and delight of new community. I'm finding my place, and putting down my roots. And I'm watching the garden, for signs of blooming about to begin.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

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The last steps in cutting down the poplar in our yard. I think they are hiring, if anyone wants this job!
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Spring is poised to take off, running.

I'm not at all sure if this is a good idea. Some things that start small, like a seed, just get out of hand when they take off, growing.
Like the cardoons I have started, in the area in my basement I fondly refer to as my grow-op. Brother Ross, living on Vancouver Island, intimates that the sound of that is - uh - illegal - or suspicious. But there is really nothing to worry about, with cardoons.
Or is there?
I'm none too sure, myself. See, I have this new yard to figure out this year. When we moved in last year, I spent August and September busy, cutting things down. Lots of dead, diseased, damaged shrubs. Two trees, one an enormous poplar, came down. 10 yards of compost were delivered, and spread. Some went into the two new raised beds we have for vegetables, some covered an area of lawn, where two colorado blue spruce and a gaggle of shrubs have been planted, ready to create 'ambience' next to the boulevard, and shade from the western sun in the long June evenings we have here in Calgary.
Cardoons are thistles, really. Large thistles. I've tried artichokes here, and they are thistles too. Actually, I have 5 growing now, under the lights. But I've read that Cardoons will grow faster and better, and they look pretty cool, I think. Plus, you get to pick the leaves, cut out the ribs to steam them, and serve with lemon butter. They are supposed to taste like - guess what? - artichokes! Artichokes can get chokes here, if they grow fast enough to miss the early frost we can get by Labor Day. Or the snow that sometimes comes on the long weekend in August. Cardoons, I'm told, with some hearty Scottish heritage, may be a sturdier stock. Able to put up with the vagaries of our Chinooks and Prairie challenges.
So, Spring, give me what you've got. I'm getting ready for the moment it looks like you are running into Summer, so that these beauties can go outside. Then we'll see what happens.
As for this blog? Well. Let's see what grows here. Hopefully it will be something that fits, and doesn't run amok.