Spring, as chilly as usual, has unfurled itself in Maine. And for me, not a moment too soon. As I have discussed with some of my blogging friends, I seem to be in a funk where nothing I read or watch pleases me. I suppose it must be because of the pandemic, where even someone like me—a homebody who’s safe and secure—feels the weight of the past year.
Whatever the reason, it is such a relief to go outside most afternoons to work in my gardens. Felder Rushing, in his book Maverick Gardeners, has encouraged me to embrace my unconventional approach to gardening. In short, I am letting loose all my wild, creative gardening impulses, and it feels great. For the past year, we have been so confined, and how freeing it is to be unconfined in the garden.
Along those lines—we have begun creating our driveway moss garden because, why not? We don’t really need that end for a driveway anyway.
As we slowly add some gathered local moss, random bits have been seeding themselves in, encouraging us to think we are on the right track. The shape looks a little bit like the state of Maine. Not planned, I assure you.
We will continue to seed in moss as time allows, taking care to water on days when it doesn’t rain. Now, when this moss garden is done, I could just leave it alone in its green loveliness. Or, I could add small garden ornaments to dress it up a little. H-m-m-m, I wonder which way I’ll go…
Readers might remember that about a week ago, we got new chairs for our patio. What a delight to see them next to our glass table. But then we put in the umbrella, even older than the replaced chairs, which are twenty years old.
Clif said, “That old umbrella looks pretty shabby.”
“Sure does,” I replied. “Especially next to those new chairs.”
This put me in mind of Diderot’s dressing gown or bathrobe, as we say here. Diderot, you will recall, was one of the luminaries of the French Enlightenment and is perhaps best known for his contributions to Encyclopedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts. Most people sensibly refer to it as Encyclopedia.
But Diderot is also known for his red dressing gown, given to him by a friend who had noticed how threadbare Diderot’s old dressing gown was. (I want to note that none of my adult friends have ever seen me in a dressing gown.)
At first, Diderot was pleased with his new dressing gown, but then he noticed how dumpy his study looked in comparison. One thing led to another, and in the end, Diderot spent more money than he should have refurbishing his study so that it would go along with his snazzy new dressing gown.
This story points the way to what happened next on our patio.
That’s right. A new umbrella.
As the comedian Jerry Seinfeld might have asked, “When’s it going to end?”