Of Gardens and Buddhas

Before I began gardening in earnest; before I allowed myself the luxury of flowers rather than the scratching of necessities, firewood and food; before my vision exploded into islands of umber and emerald with spikes of magenta and indigo flanked by tiny waxen buds, I asked my gardening sister how she did it. How to begin, so as not to Β spend time in futile effort, to somehow create the perfect plot on the first attempt. How she responded and what I have never forgotten since, all these years later, was to begin in a corner and go from there. Just take that first shovelful and the rest will follow.

Moons and rains too numerous to count have passed and I have learned what survives in xeriscape and what thrives so well in moisture that it must be cut back more or less, depending on what is selected. I have mostly learned more about life. There is no greater teacher for me than the garden. There is no Buddha more evolved than this earth. All the lessons of mindfulness, detachment, the need to let go and drop any preconceived notions of perfection exist in the eternal now of the garden. There’s an alchemy that happens when sweat and creativity mingle and merge into landscape; a transformation that happens quite by chance if not intention.

Hau blossoms begin yellow but turn this lovely color when they drop to the ground.
Some of my first harvested cloves. The tree is now far too big and produces thousands of cloves; so much so, that foregoing the harvest was exercised this year.
Pink Shower Tree blossoms. They smell divine and the tree’s canopy covers nearly half our 1/2+ acre yard.
A variety of Datura, the Angel Trumpet tree seeks wet and shelter from high winds. Started from a stick in the ground, ours now suffuses the southern view out the living room windows.
One of many hybrid Hibiscus cultivated on these islands. This is closest to the Wsdom variety, but it’s not the name I remember and have now misplaced.

21 thoughts on “Of Gardens and Buddhas

    1. I know, Eliza! Mind blowing! Some of these spices truly are miraculous to observe in their raw state. I mentioned to Sue how mace wraps itself around nutmeg – so interesting and beautiful! Another world, for sure, for New Englanders. But then again, I’d trade you a fair amount of fresh spices for fresh berries, anyday. Gosh, I do miss them.

      Enjoy the holiday-time, and blessings in the new year! Aloha ❀

      1. Thank you, Bela. I guess there are advantages to all locations, but I think some might be more special than others. πŸ˜‰ Your climate definitely is one of them. πŸ™‚

  1. I didn’t know cloves look so beautiful on the tree! Thanks for sharing lovely pictures of your garden and revealing another aspect of your multifaceted personality Bela. Love and hugs.

    1. Aloha, Balroop! Yes, it’s amazing to see how cloves in their ‘raw’ state. Mace and nutmeg are also a delight for me – one wrapped sinuously around the other! So cool.

      I am so glad you enjoy my photographs – so much can be expressed in images that can fail a person once language is engaged. That’s always the poet’s dilemma anyhow – the most picturesque of written expressions I can think of – to transform those nebulous images into a lyrical composition.

      Wishing you and yours a delightful holiday-time. I know you might not celebrate any certain holiday this time of year, but the excitement of the season seems to be contagious just the same πŸ˜‰ Sweet blessings in 2019, Balroop. May all good things come your way! ❀

  2. I can not tell you how much this post delighted me Bela… I have a jar of dried cloves, seeing these wonderful seed pods straight from harvest is wonderful.
    And yes you are right, there is no greater teacher than that we learn in our gardens..
    Beautiful images dear Bela.. ❀
    Sending Love and well wishes my friend ❀

    1. Ahh, so glad to delight you! I have more cloves than I’ll ever use just from that first harvest! And yes, it’s so interesting to see how they come from the tree to transform into the little brown dried customers we buy in the markets! They truly are uniquely their own. Love to you and yours, Sue. Always. ❀

  3. Bela, you described perfectly what it means to have that gardening connection with the earth. My parents were both gardeners and it’s been something I’ve loved since my mom gave me my own little plot of land and a packet of nasturtium seeds. Growing and nurturing plants and trees gets in the blood!

    Loved all your photos, and I too was surprised to see what cloves look like freshly grown – how pretty they are!

    Happy Solstice, and wishing you a wonderful holiday week. β€οΈβ€οΈπŸ€—

    1. Oh, I’m so glad you feel this way, Betty. Yes, for me it was my dad. My mother had the vision, but with seven kids, didn’t participate much but to water what he planted. And I learned the grunt work, which I hated but which I have thanked my dad for teaching me before he left this world. Of all the seven, only one sister and I have gardened like we meant it.

      And yes, the cloves! It’s an amazing thing. Thanks for the well wishes, and definitely right back atcha. Hope it’s magical! We’re headed out on the ocean to see if whales are a-leaping (instead of ten lords and all that). Love ❀

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