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Prompt #4: Write about your garden mentor or muse.
Written May 13th:
Welp, this is the first prompt I've had a little trouble with. I didn't begin gardening until my 20s and I did so rather accidentally, out of the blue and on my own. (Click here to learn more). I've never given much thought to a mentor or muse before.
The first place I turned to, the first place I turn to with anything, even now, is books. I don't recall if I took many out of the library or not, but I did buy a lot of bargain/clearance gardening books at (the now defunct) Borders and Barnes & Noble, as well as many great, old used books at the thrift shops and library sales, many of which I still have. I tended towards encyclopedia type books, Q&A type books and journal/memoirs. I've never been too fond of the strait forward "how-to" books, probably because I've never liked being told what to do or how to do it!
Could a nursery or garden center be considered a mentor or muse? Especially in the beginning? Nowadays I tend to go with a specific list in hand, but back then, I looked at everything excitedly, picking things, I'm sure, seemingly at random, though to a degree I was, but also to fit my teeny tiny budget while at the same time making my heart sing. I didn't have much room back then, not to mention untrustworthy neighbors with sticky fingers, so I was mostly an annuals gal back then. I didn't have the patience for perennials and annuals were cheaper to replace if stolen or ruined.
As time has passed, I would say that my mentors and muses have expanded to include favorite blogs and so many in the twitter gardening communities of #gardenchat, #rosechat, #gardenwalk and beyond.
I have always loved roses, since I was a little girl, and the color pink. Perhaps those two things are my biggest muse. My gardening first loves, even before I started gardening. They bring me such joy.
Prompt #5: What does your garden sound like?
Written May 23rd:
Another thunderstorm has just finished. I hear rain water flowing through the leaders down from the gutters like the shower running in the tub. Dripping onto the mini-greenhouse from a hole in the gutter. A lawn mower and a leaf blower across the street. Traffic on the highway, not even a block away, and traffic and school buses on our street too. Both heavy and loud, the tires on the wet black top sounding like waves rolling onto the beach. Birds chirping excitedly in the massive arborvitaes by the fence.
Very loud. Too loud.
Sometimes it's all a bit maddening really. Cascading bottles, cans and plastics into the recycling bins. Add the neighborhood noises from the park, ball field and apartment complex (that we live in) and it's often hard to block it all out.
Did I mention the "WHAT?!" Sisters across the alley (all they ever do is yell to one another when they're in their yard, which backs up to the other side of the alley and can't hear one another despite their yelling - our yard backs up to the alley on this side) and that 4 towns worth of ambulances use our street to get them to the bridge that takes you to the hospital on the other side of the river?
That's probably why I enjoy my morning and evening (at sunset) garden walks so much. There's still noise, mostly street and highway traffic, there will always be noise here, but it's much more quiet in comparison. Birds, bees, and often my thoughts, become the welcome soundtrack instead.