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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Love What You Have.



It's when you no longer have things that you miss them. See this beautiful rhody? We, in the Northwest take these bushes-trees for granted. They are everywhere, native to this area. They bloom for months with hardly any care. Best of all, they are ignored by the wildlife, making them prime landscape choice for front, unfenced gardens as mine is.  Picture then, a cluster of these and their cousins, azaleas, all in different colors, taking your eyes from here to there in a firework of colors.  You'd love coming home to this, right?

Not so fast.

We are constantly looking at ways to subtract rhodies' presence and introduce some exotic plant that has no business being here. In my case, I'd so want to grow more mediterrenean shrubs of lemon, orange, fig.

Crazy girl!

When I lived in Italy, I didn't appreciate those bushes much. Figs? No way.  Too messy, too prolific, too many birds around.  Now, I'm dreaming of terracing my front gravel driveway, (find another place to land the car), wall it with stones, create a warm place to grow my nascent collection of indoor mediterrenean shrubs. I can see myself serving lemonade to my astounded friends, under a glassed dome, the sun, when it does peek, smiling assuredly at us in our woolens, and so on and so on...

It's the Paradise of my dreams. When we lived in California and I could have such a terrace, I had no time to garden; my energies went to my work and my family.  In my dreams, I put these things in priority as my ideal place for retirement: access to water, room to garden, small community to get involved in.  I have all three, and more. 

You'd think my Paradise is already here.

Most days, I think that too.

Then, Signor Serpente sneaks in the garden and talks to me about figs and lemons and warm climates and..........

33 comments:

Linda Myers said...

I laughed out loud well before 10 a.m., my usual time.

"I can see myself serving lemonade to my astounded friends, under a glassed dome, the sun, when it does peek, smiling assuredly at us in our woolens, and so on and so on..."

I live near Seattle in my woolens. The sun is peeking out this morning and I have an urge to fling open the doors and cavort on the deck. Guess I'll go to work instead.

ellen abbott said...

Tropicals galore down here. Of course we've also got triple digits, ultra high humidity and the sun can be merciless at times. But I get it. I would miss those things too if I was in northern climes not matter the beauty of the place.

Diana said...

So so true! I'm really working at appreciating the right now and what's here in it, because it is all so very transient.

becky at abbeystyle said...

I'm extremely fortunate because we own two (little)houses in opposite kinds of climates. We can go between them, following the sun, and affording ourselves reasonable comforts all year round. My appreciation level is always high because going back and forth brings change and we notice all the beautiful things that surround us--even if nature has outdone itself in our absence and we need to do a lot of pruning.

She Writes said...

I know him all too well. All too well. I swear he talks to me about the sun nearly every day! ;)

Brian Miller said...

just smite him on the head...and enjoy the lemonade...smiles.

Nancy said...

Isn't that always the way? I'm trying to appreciate the desert landscaping in our new home. But I love green! So I've decided to do green on the patio, and leave the lovely landscaping alone.

Eva Gallant said...

I love the vision....lemonad, glass dome, sunshine.....

jinksy said...

I'd love some of your rhodedendrons, but the soil here is the wrong sort, even if I had a large enough garden...

willow said...

There were two rhododendrons in the front of the manor when we moved in 22 years ago. They were fairly new from the previous owners and only lasted a few years. The soil just isn't right here. Yours are so fabulously huge!

Lianne said...

Ah, figs and lemons and warm climates. What a wonderful image for a dull and dreary Vancouver afternoon. Thank you.

#1Nana said...

Here on the east side of the state we are finally enjoying a heat wave. We've had an unusually wet spring, early summer. The bonus is that everything is green and lush...just what everyone pictures Oregon looks like. In a week or two we'll be back to shades of brown. You're right, I want it all...warm weather, lush plantings and warm tropical breezes as I relax in the shade.

Ocean Girl said...

Signor Serpente come whispering in our paradise too.

Monkey Man said...

Rhodies, ferns, piggyback plants, Oregon grape, huckleberry, trillium so many beautiful natives.

Natalie said...

Surrounding yourself with pleasure is good!It's all about the experience. :)

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Signor Serpente! You are so witty! I love that!! I will never forget that image...smiling and smiling...and every time I find myself dissatisfied,I will remember your words! Perfect Post! Loved it! ~Janine XO

RNSANE said...

We always want what we don't have, right? I can relate to the wish for some of life's Mediterranean pleasures. For the past two birtthdays, I've headed off to Rome and jaunts about the Med for two weeks, savoring the best of olive oils, fresh grilled seafood, wonderful restaurants, late nights out under the stars, good wine, for reasonable prices though some barolos can reach high figures. I don't know what I will do for this birthday....maybe take out the photos and enjoy the memories.

Shadow said...

we humans are strange... always want what we don't have... but what they hay, get yourself a rhody.

A Cuban In London said...

I loved the message within your post today. Appreciate what you have, treasure it, because it won't last forever. You're so right. Thanks for such a beautiful post.

Greetings from London.

karen said...

Such a great post! I love the way you write...

Jules said...

Since I am a gardening newbie I am just happy to have anything grow and not turn brown.

Will you share some lemonade?LOL

NitWit1 said...

Love this. Why can't we be happy with the situation in which we live?

Yep that BIblical serpent still lives to torment us with discontent.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Love what you have. How often we forget that.

Dimple said...

El Senor Serpent is alive and well, testing our every resolve to be grateful for what God gives us, and tempting us to desire something else. That's his job. Sometimes we tell him to take a hike, and sometimes not...
I still long for tree ripened apricots such as grew in our backyard when I was about 12 and lived in central CA. But the only apricot tree I have tried to grow died rapidly after producing its first crop.
However, God has provided apples every other year, and pie cherries often enough that we can enjoy cherry pies when we want. I need to be thankful for that!

Marguerite said...

Being a Southerner, I would not want to live in a cold climate, ever again. I did for many years and I was absolutely miserable, for much of the year. So I understand!

Rob-bear said...

I recall a time when I was asked to talk to a regional union conference about how unions can work with the media. (It was a couple of decades ago.)

In the middle of my presentation, I recalled a union rallying cry that focused on "We want more." So I asked, "When does more become enough?" I was told long afterwards that I had set the cat among the pigeons. I guess like Signor Serpente, in a way.

But it's a question I ask myself regularly: "When does more become enough?" A question of gratitude; a question of expectations.

Thanks, Rosaria.

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

Cute post as always, love your writing style. Thanks for the sweet note you left for me in my bedroom...

ds said...

Oh, but that rhody is magnificent in your garden. Mine got so scraggly I whacked it back to unattractive nothing. Corollary to your wise "love what you have:" Bloom where you are planted. Or else ;)
Thank you.

Saretta said...

How did that song go? "Love the one you're with..." I think it's human nature to not see the beauty near to us and to want "other." :-)

Rachel Cotterill said...

I know what you mean! :)

Debbie said...

You are so right about all of this! In all aspects of our lives we are far better off if we can just love what we have. Why is that so difficult?

Ed Pilolla said...

my mom grew up in tuscany, and i have family there whom i visit every few years and they visit here every few years. wonderful to discover your blog(s). we all moved to southern california. my mom says the climate here is remarkably similar to tuscany. nice to meecha. here from jingle.

christine said...

here, in England, the rhodis and azaleas look glorious in the spring and early summer, where there's the acidic soil they prefer.

sadly, however, we have "rhodie-bashing" parties in some areas, where the common, purple/lilac rhodie takes over hillsides traditionally coated with heather and bracken. It's too prolific for its own good!

The lemon trees sound good, go for it:-)