The Daily Muse

A Garden Journal -- March 2003

Last Update: March 25

Close-up of our 'Red Baron' peaches

Container with carnation, Agave paryii, and marbles

March 4 - morning

Another  dreary morning. Yech! The sun has only peeked out for a few hours during the past eight or nine days. I feel like I live in Seattle, not Austin. Regardless of the gloom, spring is slowly moving forward. This morning I noticed that our Red Baron peaches are about to bloom, we'll have two clouds of red blossoms at the back of the garden soon. The soil is too boggy to work with, so all of our projects are at a stand-still. I am trying to exercise a bit of zen patience, but the March hare has taken hold and I am anxious to jump into the season.

March 9 -  evening

Finally, we have had a few rainless days. I have worked hard trying to complete our new raised bed and the job is nearly complete. I will let the bed settle for a while before planting since raised beds have a tendency to "sink." ( I have enough soil left to top the bed off again before planting.) We intend to use herbs, roses, and grasses in the bed - I think it it will be a wonderful planting area.  We will place two benches on either side of the inner rectangle pictured below - they will face one another creating a place where two or three folks will feel embraced by the garden. I always tell people to try to create garden rooms and I feel that this will be the most intimate "room" in our garden.

A side view of our new planting bed

March 14 - morning

It is a gorgeous spring morning - the kind we have all been longing for. Our peach trees are in full bloom, the cypress trees in our allee are sending out their new growth, and our red bud is about to put on its very first show of color. I am going to spend a few hours doing a little spring cleaning in the garden before going to work. I hope that you will find yourself in the company of the robins and daffodils for a few hours too.

Our 'Red Baron' Peaches

March 16 - afternoon

Our "Yin - Yang" bed of oxaliis

Another beautiful, warm even, spring day. Everything is leafing out or blooming - the season is running at full throttle and so am I. I have been very busy weeding, transplanting, planting, and reveling in the sunshine. We have a very hectic, yet exciting week ahead of us. I know that I won't have much time for reflection in the coming days so I thought I'd share a few words that I intend to carry with me: May God Bless All Nations. Peace.

March 25 - evening

Place des Vosges - one of the great public gardens of Paris

As I write this a strong line of showers is moving into the area - the night time sky is flashing with the lightning strikes and a heavy rain is falling on the garden. The last week has indeed proved intense, both politically and personally.  Victor and I have just returned from a week in Europe, my first trip there in over twenty three years. We went at the invitation of a very gracious friend who was staying in Paris. When we were there many people approached us to talk about the war - they did so out of a sense of concern for our nation. One woman said, "We hope you understand that we love America. But, we are worried what this war will do to you." She was not talking about what Saddam would do to us, but what we are doing to ourselves.

One of the days we were there, we left the city and went to the great cathedral Notre Dame de Chartres, "the Acropolis of France." Chartres was a pilgrimage site in the middle ages and has become one once again with people trekking from across the globe to marvel at its statuary and stained glass and to walk its ancient labyrinth. It was a very powerful experience. After visiting Chartres, we allowed ourselves to get lost wandering the back roads between there and the grand gardens of Versailles. For me, this was a personal pilgrimage to one of the geat formal garden spaces of the world. I loved the seemingly endless allees of plane trees (sycamores) and the way the soft light fell through the still bare branches. I felt very grateful to be walking those paths.


A roadside view in Chartres


Versailles - view from the palace


March 31st - morning

Yesterday was a perfect spring day here in Austin despite a frosty start. We came very close to freezing just before dawn and a few plants were nipped - but then, the sun came out and it turned out to be a glorious day. Unfortunately, I had to spend the day working, so Victor took the initiative in the garden and started to plant our new rose and herb bed. My schedule has been so crazy that I have not had the time for the garden that I would like. Hopefully, things will slow down just a bit so that I can take advantage of the season. I hope that you were out in your garden yesterday, taking in the joy of the season. Just leave a little for me!

I can't help but indulge myself with more vacation pictures. Hope you enjoy the slide show!

Cherry Trees at the Luxembourg Gardens, Paris

Wide Shot of the Luxembourg Gardens looking towards the Senate building, Catherine de Medici's former palace. We were staying in a house just one block behind this structure.

Catherine's little personal grotto.

Magnolia in a Park off the Champs-Elysees

A detail from the facade of the Chartres cathedral. The Annunciation.

Chartres cathedral with flowering plum.

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