Everyone has had letdowns with plants. Don’t allow that to defeat you from trying again this year. Disappointments and lessons learned are a part of life and gardening. Make sure to enjoy the season anyway, get your hands dirty (wear gloves) and take pride in your victories, however small or large. There is great satisfaction and pleasure in watching a bud appear and consequently reach full bloom. With this in mind, what a fabulous pastime to share and pass down to children.
We labor in our garden plots in April whether we weed, shop, choose, plan, transplant, water, mulch or sprout seedlings. We set the scene for summer with hope filled toil, no matter how small-scale our territory or where we are located.
Meanwhile, the roses we pruned in January are in full bloom. Pruning times depend on your climate zone. Furthermore, every landscape has its own microclimate zones. For example, below a slope will most likely be your dampest spot and could be up to ten degrees cooler than the rest of your yard, a great place for ferns and ivy. But, don’t expect sunflowers or most flowering types to survive those conditions. Likewise, an area with partial sunlight and shade might be too cool and moist for a succulent.
Vegetation can be quite finicky. Various plants enjoy solitary situations. Others prefer to be in a community of varied species. Still, a few need to be staked like tomato and bean bushes.
Then again, every zone has its easy to raise seedlings, foliage and flowers too. Morning Glories are a weed in my garden. Purple plumed Mexican Sage – a gigantic, grassy, overgrown mess right now, needs to be controlled. Freeway Daisies flower even if I forget about them. Honeysuckle blossoms, spread and climb without a care. Nevertheless, I admit, as a dedicated gardener, I still kill easy to grow plants, out of pure neglect or unknown reasons, like geraniums.
Bulbs surprise, springing up since we often forget where we have planted them in the fall and don’t see them till warm days arrive. Daffodils, also known as jonquils, sweep the road paths along the mountain roads near my home, in swaths of yellow, green and white. Teeny yet fragrant purple and white Hyacinths are common first tubers to sprout, often bursting through an unexpected snowfall in most of the continental states. When your spring bulbs’ blossoms wither, rather than chopping off their stems, bind them into a braid or a simple twist with raffia or tomato ties. As a result, the underground bulb gains renewed strength for next year. Set annuals, such as pansies (if you live in a cool zone) or petunias (for warmer climes) between the knob corms (bulb seeds). You can cut back the stalks once they look dry and brittle.
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” – Cicero
Daisies, lilacs, tulips, daffodils, lilies, hyacinths, ranunculi, roses, poppies, sweet peas and freesias!! These are a few of the flowers that bloom and headline the scene at springtime.
After a monochromatic winter has kept us inside with dry heat, I urge you to get outside, appreciate the fresh breezes and smell the multicolored blossoms. In April, wherever you live – color, fragrance and new growth permeates. First, explore the wildflowers on hillsides, between crevices of rocks, lakeside, near river beds and alongside highways. Notice the pops of color. For instance, ice plants, burst at the seams with fluorescent fuchsia and pink-violet by the seashore. Second, breathe in the perfume. Freesia bulbs, jasmine vines and sweet peas scent the outdoors with their delicate, pastel blooms.
When someone tells me I need protection I start to wonder how that is going to look. Well, now we see. Lifting the protection AWAY from sacred lands so big biz can go in there and destroy habitats is not what I had in mind. Is it what you had in mind?
Mobsters don’t play by the same rules.
President does not equal tyrant or king.
Collusion, illegitimacy, mysogyny, phony phony phony daughter, bombastic, nepotism, propaganda, hypocrisy, you name it – this novel has it all – oh – wait – this isn’t fiction? It is real news. We need transparency, asap. – of taxes, Flynn documents, real estate holdings and dealings, etc.
I am disappointed in the human culture and people that support this.
And, it is breaking my heart.
Scattered throughout Beryl Markham’s memoir is a scant number of dialog – so pertinent, so useful and so spare as to be significant. Each conversation is consequential either to give you an inside look into a person’s intentions, motivations or their character flaws – and somehow she manages to give it all a distinct dignity of the human kind. People act regal and arrogant yet with a palpable set of values familiar to all of us. Her dialog moves the story along as they are meant to – but with a precision uncommon to most literature.
Although her view of life seems to be that it is hard work and lonesome, when you read this memoir – it seems effortless. She speaks to the loneliness in all of us, having been abandoned at nearly five by her mother (which she doesn’t write about but I learned later).
She observes universal truths: How fate is seen only after from the living that remain, and only then, can be foreshadowed by so many markers. She comments on poverty, hunting and man’s intrusion that changes native lives and landscapes via “advancements”. She explains how everything has an edge, a limit, yet it’s all a bottomless pit of story, swerves, curves, turns and returns, goodbyes, introductions and moments.
This book was written by a superb master, albeit her one full length book. She makes visible how it was and is and let’s you play moral judge. You are a passenger allowed to linger in her cockpit, in her head, for scene upon scene, layered in a life of linear languidness.
Markham’s writing is like nothing else I have read.
To be able to read Beryl Markham’s memorable book was a feast of words onto itself. She uses analagous metaphors steeped in African legend, jungle truisms, earth bound realities and then she (the first woman bush pilot) takes you to the heights of flight over continents and an ocean.
She adds insight into political craziness. Against the backdrop of land ravaged by man, she almost seems to applaud when nature seeks its revenge and swallows him up whole, spits him out, without caring if he is humble, humiliated, fearful or victorious.
She honors the earth and its atmosphere as to make one solemn; I christen her words as sacred text. She never allows herself to be directly emotional, she unveils herself via events, scenes and other’s responses. She is brave and valiant – a true Murabi – the word for man, no longer boy.
I will read this book again as it is well written and I doubt I will ever find such poetry in today’s literature. I want to study it. It is a feat of brilliance, like her life. No matter what she put her mind to, she did it with Herculean effort, all of her heart and focused brain power. Her instinctive and intuitive, sensitive survival skills and tales of human suffering rolled off her tongue and onto the page in the same breath. You feel as you read her words that your are there with the same leverage, skill and eye witnessing as she writes with.
I have become a better writer because I read Beryl Markham.
West with the Night by Beryl Markham is a book I would recommend to anyone interested in the European pilgrimages to Kenya in the 1920’s and early women aviators. Additionally, if you loved Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (aka,Karen Blixen) or just watched the movie with Meryl and R.Redford. Most of the characters in the movie are in Beryl’s memoir. Although, in Beryl’s case, unlike Isak, she omits her love life and instead zeroes in on her childhood, her flying career and her lyrical description of landscapes.
Every review I read before and after I actually read the book seemed to have the same impression as I did, that her writing is superb. E. Hemingway was jealous after reading her singular memoir.
Her story is a life filled with risk, her writing – keen observations as if from a distance, high above in her beloved solitary, lonely sky. Her grasp of English words, in a flurry of detail, spread in an almost fictional timeline is musical. She narrows in, then out to the relatable human race. Her prose is poetic. She writes of people with a universal stoicism, haughtily English and yet close to the heart.
I urge all adventurers and lovers of words to read it.
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” – Cicero
Daisies, lilacs, tulips, daffodils, lilies, hyacinths, ranunculi, roses, poppies, sweet peas and freesias!! These are a few of the flowers that bloom and headline the scene at springtime. Go outside and enjoy the fresh breezes and blossoms! Note the surrounding changes. In April, wherever you live – color, fragrance and new growth permeates. Search for wildflowers on hillsides, between crevices of rocks at the beach, lakeside, near river beds and alongside highways. Notice the pops of color. Ice plants, used as ground cover, burst at the seams with fluorescent “take me back to the 70s” hot pink and fuchsia purple mania. Smell the air. Freesia bulbs, jasmine vines and sweet peas perfume the outdoors with their delicate, pastel blooms.
Daffodils, also known as jonquils, sweep the road paths along the mountain roads where I reside in swaths of yellow, green and white. Teeny yet fragrant purple and white Hyacinths are commonly the first tubers to sprout, often busting through an unexpected snowfall. When your spring bulbs’ blossoms wither, bind their stems into a braid or a simple twist with raffia, strips from an old nylon stocking or tomato Velcro ties. This allows the underground bulb to gain renewed strength for next year. Set annuals, such as pansies (if you live in a cool zone) or petunias (for warmer climes) between the knob corms (bulb seeds). You can cut the stalks back once they are dry and brittle.