Friday, October 2, 2020
By Victoria Torley
I like simplicity. Life has a lot of complications and simplicity can be soothing. That being said, it seems difficult to make things simple.
“Simple” would be a meditation garden. It would have white pebbles and skillfully place large rocks or boulders. There would be a koi pond with brightly colored fish and water lilies, perhaps some papyrus or horsetail plants at the edges. There would be artful flowers scattered here and there and a lovely bonsai or two. The garden would be surrounded by flowering, scented shrubs that kept disorder at a distance. A raised walkway would meander through the garden so that the raked lines of the stones would never be disturbed. Ahhhh.
Then, of course, there would be a gardener who came every day without fail to rake fallen leaves, pluck the heads from fading flowers and insure that no weeds intruded anywhere.
Right. Dream on. We have eleven acres, have at least four streams, and are bordered by a riverbank. We have a jungle, a swampy area, 350 meters of roadside, steep slopes, and I have a bad back. I have one, count them, one, gardener. I need five. Five would be good. Or some cows – cows would, at least, cut the grass back.
Don’t get me wrong, I also have an orchid garden and a stream with a lovely bridge. Well, it will be lovely. Last time I tried to cross it, I fell through the rotten wood and, because I had (once again) stupidly left the house without: a) telling Metric Man where I was going and b) forgetting my cell phone. I had to extricate myself from the debris by myself. It bruised. Serves me right, I suppose, I am always forgetting my phone. Anyway, I bought some of that “guaranteed for 20 years, looks like real wood (it sort of does)” fake wood and my caretaker/gardener/all-around handyman is remaking the bridge. He also does welding. What a jewel.
We also have a 30 meter (close to 100 feet) Tabebuia rosea tree that is absolutely amazing. We don’t know how old it is, but it is about 1.5 meters or more (about 6 feet) at the base. If lightning ever hits it, which fortunately seems unlikely, you could build a two story building from the wood. Even Metric Man, who dislikes the fact that it has pink blossoms, does not want it to topple any time soon.
So, I have plenty to do without a meditation garden. Perversely, I would still like one.
Plant for the Week
Occasionally, when the ants and bugs and fungi leave things alone, we have success with a vegetable! Here’s one now, a lovely butternut squash. Seeds for the butternut are not readily available in Costa Rica and I admit that they may have come from abroad somehow. Needless to say, seeds will be available upon request once we have sliced and used the squash. Yum.
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