Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Welcome To The Lush

I have truly enjoyed watching the garden grow into the green Lush of being in the view from above on my front porch. So much of what I have planted over the years has grown in size and substance to be identifiable from a distance. That enjoyment will have to help soothe the maintenance gardener who is itching to spend time in the garden.

My breathing is a touch better which means I am sleeping less and moving more. It will take some time to regain some strength and balance to where I could wander out there and pull a few weeds.

The time for the Great Lawn and path mowing is also here. That is another matter entirely for the maintenance gardener. It is currently not possible.

As it should, the garden blooms on without me. 

In the land where the Black Iris blooms.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Ripples On the Surface

I have been sleeping for the past two months. The sleep of the dead and dying. Being sick is my full time job now. It demands my attention. Spring passes over the mountain top in the tapestry and texture of a mountain meadow as I slumber.

Green is a color again amid the march of the Mayapples.

A healthy sprinkle of the blue Phacelia purshii is now growing in my garden. It will only spread more from here. One more ripple in the tapestry.

Amid growing trees and shrubs that are gaining ever more presence and definition in a wild cultivated garden.

Is the garden finished? Perhaps. There could also be decades of tinkering left to tend to.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Spring On A Leash

The final diagnosis was stage 4 adenocarcinoma of the lungs with metastasis to the nearby lymph nodes and the lining of the wall of the lung cavity. It has kicked my butt. I am permanently tied to the oxygen tube. I had my first chemo last Friday.

Good thing I planned for a nice view from the front porch for my decrepitude.

The view from the dining room window is where my ashes go. Not many people have the opportunity to design their own final resting place.

I tried to rouse myself for a walk in the garden on Bloom Day and couldn't do it. The garden is proceeding with spring without me. The view of my front porch is nice too.

A couple days later I strapped on some oxygen and made a mighty effort. It will be the last walk in the garden until my breathing improves. I saw Celandine Poppies.

The trilliums are rising in multitudes. We will need that many to feed the damn deer.

All I can do is a weak holler now "Get Off My Lawn". I can't go chasing the varmints off.

This summer I will be getting chemo and immunotherapy tied to a leash and stuck inside. Robbed of the breath of life there is zero energy for movement of any kind. How will the maintenance gardener handle that?

Thursday, March 23, 2023

The End Of Perky

Testing, testing, testing. A diagnosis of lung cancer has been confirmed. I won't be doing a cancer journey blog. It may get mentioned from time to time. I suspect the number of posts will dwindle since walking the gardens is difficult when you can't breathe. One more test to go and the first appointment with an oncologist is on April 7th. The waiting for some actual treatment is not fun.

The last two rounds of cold in the teens and low twenties did very little freezer burn. Daffodils like rhododendron curl up in the cold and that has a tendency to snap the flowers stems making it impossible for them to stand back up. The show of perky daffodils is mostly over. There are many more yet to bloom, so it is not totally over.

Spring continues on. The early trilliums have started to rise and they were unfazed by the frigid temperatures.

The Trout Lilies also ignored the cold as they must, being one of the very first spring ephemeral wildflowers. Their spread through the garden has been dramatic.

The snowdrops have been multiplying abundantly too. The original clumps are getting fatter and seedlings are appearing some good distance away. My heiau may be about as big as it is going to get. Like sands in the hourglass, these are the rocks of the heiau.

Some damn varmint dug up the chionodoxa bulbs right after I planted them. I wasn't sure how many would show up this spring. It looks like I got a good take. This isn't the more prolific multiplying plain species though. Maybe they will surprise me.

This is what I like, when one becomes many. Trillium luteum keeps expanding.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

A Brief Blue Bloom Day

The sun came out on a frigid Bloom Day morning. It took a lot longer for me to get going. I did manage a short afternoon stroll to see what the freezing cold had done. Not bad I suppose. The daffodils looked relatively ok, but more cold in the low 20's is scheduled for next week.

The newly planted chionodoxa in the Great Lawn have started to bloom.

So far, no varmint has eaten them. I did see a deer out in the garden this evening but did not have the energy to get up and holler, "Get off my lawn." Let my lawn turn blue.

In the golden sunshine of a cold spring day.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Amazing Grace

I spent my 65th birthday in a hospital. Testing, testing, testing. I have not been feeling better. My shortness of breath has gotten so bad, so rapidly, I can't walk ten steps without having to stop and catch my breath. My right lung is partially collapsed. I'm on oxygen now. The tentative word was lung cancer. More tests were needed for the particulars. I can't breathe which means I can't work and had to call all my clients to let them know I would not be back this year.

The daffodils have had an amazing, way early, full bloom this spring. It has been nice to see it happen. A cold front with a dash of snow came through and the lows the next two days will be in the lower 20's. We shall see what is left when the cold is done with a spring that came too soon.

The new pulmonologist doctor from the start of my appointment today was not in the least bit willing to declare lung cancer from the previous test results she had seen. It could be something else. Really? There is hope. Happy Birthday to me. Testing, testing testing.

Tomorrow they are going to drain all the fluid off my right lung. Hopefully it will re-inflate. Friday they are going to stick a tube down my throat into my lungs to collect a bunch of samples. This is what I wanted. Action. Now. To find out what is going on to steal my breath away. Cancer has not been ruled out, but it is no longer the only option. 

The doctor and hospital staff were wonderful today, speeding things through a backed-up system for a patient clearly in distress. My family, friends and clients have all rallied around me to let me know I am loved and appreciated even with my faults. That is such an amazing gift. I have lived a charmed and blessed life in so very many ways. I have so much to be grateful for.

The Trout Lilies will open in the sunshine. Let me be the boy who cried cancer. I have gardens to tend. I can handle the embarrassment of a false alarm in exchange for the love and caring I have seen. Testing, testing, testing.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

The Handiwork Of Bulbarella Stinze

Is sprinkled with blue glitter generously throughout. Click on a picture for a walk with the daffodils.

Daffodils In The Forest

The daffodils are at peak bloom. In a normal year that would happen closer to April 1st.

This is not going to be a normal year.

I wait for the flat light of a cloudy day to go for a walk in Bulbarella's garden next door. The early warm pushing them to full bloom has been nice. The full sunshine of cloudless days is bad for picture taking in the light and shadow that causes in a forest filled with daffodils. The sun may go out tomorrow.