By the time I get back home a week from now, I’d have been away 6 weeks and have never been gone from home and garden that long. Leaving the latter in the height of growing season was difficult. But, I was determined to not fret and worry and ruin my vacation in France and visit with my father in India. Taking time to rest and refresh and/or reconnect with family are very necessary to ones well-being after all.
I did of course occasionally wonder how the garden was faring but I’d stop from thinking further. Between the watering system set up to kick in if the soil in pots got too dry, the nephew coming around regularly to check on everything and take action as needed and, Ephraim, the person hired to do a weekly mowing to the handkerchief sized lawn, the garden was going to be okay. The weeds would have free reign but, they’d be dealt with eventually. Que sera sera.
However, while I went on to India, my husband returned home and this meant, I’d have my actual garden helper right where I wanted him to be. In the garden. When the man was not doing the work he is employed to do, he could tend to the garden right? Hallelujah.
Since his return a week ago, he’s reported on –
How the garden is looking – lush, green and wild. Since there was a fair amount of rain, all the plants were well hydrated. Many had quite a growth spurt.
What tasks were addressed – some cutting back, some staking, some digging up and tossing. Harvesting of leafy greens and micro-greens for culinary delights and dahlias for adorning the home, cleaning and tidying up edges, washing and refilling hummingbird feeders, reinstalling the window boxes that had been taken down to join the other pots so they could all benefit from the the watering system set up, clean the filtration system that recirculates the water for the vertical garden, take many photographs to send back to the absconding head gardener.
I’m so delighted with the photographs because I’d started missing the garden a lot. (Cooped up inside my father’s apartment because of the torrents of monsoon rains can make anyone long for the outdoors.) Asking how different plants were doing and receiving visual responses is really nice. The lotus project started this spring was top on my mind – the first couple of buds have emerged! The dahlias are beginning their show. The meadow is serving lots of insects with the cimicifuga, Joe Pye and milkweed in bloom. Asters in the front garden are poised to bloom soon. Squirrels are attacking the unripe apples as usual.
I’m also happy to get reports on the not so visible goings on. The birdhouses are still occupied and the chatter from them is non-stop. The garden is full of fragrances – in the front, the phlox are welcoming visitors and passersby with their clove -like perfume. On the side porch, it smells heady and romantic with the jasmines and gardenia blooming with abandon. And in the back terrace, the brugamansia are trumpeting loudly as their exotic fragrance lures humans and night pollinators alike. This is exactly how I want it to be.
Of course, I know much weeding awaits but for now, I’m kinda getting to appreciate this remote gardening thing.
All images taken by my assistant gardener –
(c) Shobha Vanchiswar 2023
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