DIRT!!!

I am happy to announce that Herbology is alive and well in New Orleans.

This past Sunday, I found myself elbow-deep in dirt, with smudges of loamy soil embracing my face and smells of several different forms of greenery wafting up my nose.  I found my Pure Joy, and was insanely glad to be in a place again to be able to do so.

Before the Great Uproot of 2012, I always maintained a fairly successful garden on our 7th floor balcony in Cap Hill, Denver.  By successful, I don’t mean that everything stayed alive and flourished all the time.  Some did – which I bequeathed to my CO tribe when I left.  Otherwise, over the years, I managed to grow sunflowers from seed, and keep a solitary fragile vine alive for a couple of years when it really should have kicked the bucket far sooner.  I was  pretty good, and very resourceful.  (I mean,  lord, I TAUGHT HERBOLOGY for an amazing school of wizardry in CO, even…) I spent hours out there dead-heading and watering and replanting and observing.  No weeding -such is the joy of a balcony 7 stories high!  My annuals stayed mostly true.  It was a challenging space, full sun for the most part, and the air was dry dry DRY and we were in a violent crosswind a lot of the time…but, I prevailed.

I digress.  I’ve missed that damn balcony so much because I had yet to establish a tribe of Plant Kids here in New Orleans.  It took this long – we’ve been in our place here since March, but I had not yet been ready to establish that sort of relationship.

That’s how I view the growing and maintenance of plants:  as a Relationship.

You have to take the time to watch them EVERY DAY to make sure they’re alright.  And water them and feed them and talk to them (and call them George..) and on top of THAT I view our screened-in porch overlooking St. Andrew as another room of the house and I’d burned out on Setting Up Rooms for a bit and was just waiting until the energy and the time and the vibe was RIGHT.

Saturday, J and I spent the day with Infamaus and Cootie in a veritable shopping frenzy on the Northshore (seriously, my bank called me toward the end), whereupon I came home, at last, with some shelving for the porch (among a ton of other things).  Up until this weekend, we had patio furniture, but no place to house plants and store the accoutrement that pertain thereto.  Success was had, much to my delight (I often go out and about expecting NOT to find what I’m looking for, which is the norm here when it comes to Normal Things).

Sunday, I set it all up, and brought out the two plants in the house that really belonged outside.

Garden1

Then, I Ventured Forth into realms unknown: Local Gardening Centers.

I found Mecca.

After finding Mecca, I had to drive by it several times, as I could NOT find a place to park.  The lot was small, and full, and Tchoupitoulas carried many a butt-rider behind me so I couldn’t slow down.  I finally just took a cruise all the way up Tchoup to see what was up there, and by the time I came back around, I was able to pull straight into the parking lot of Urban Roots.

Garden2

I got out of the car and nearly fell to my knees.  I HAD FOUND MECCA!  Seriously.  I honestly didn’t realize just how much I’d missed plant kin until I stepped out of my car and faced this place full of greenery.  I wandered in, and when asked if I needed help, I actually told the owner that I was too overwhelmed with joy and had to take it all in before I could talk to her.  It was that amazing.  So I wandered around, and found that they have just about anything you could ever want.  And it was all situated so it was very easy to tell what was full sun (um, the plants that were out in full sun), what was shade or partial shade (because they were all in that situation), and what was indoor (..because those were the ones inside…).  Hands down the best plant kingdom I have ever had the pleasure to visit.

Oh,  and by the way, I turned a corner and came across their pet turtles.  TURTLES!  MY PEOPLE!  A few minutes after THAT, I crossed paths with a couple of geese.  And heard roosters crowing on the other side of a fence (I think the owner lives on site).  AND, according to a very enthusiastic 4-year-old I ran into when I turned a corner, there are BUNNIES there too!  BUNNIES!

I love this place.  I am very excited that it is so near where I live.

So anyway, I wandered about in pure GLEE for literally half an hour, and then got to talking with one of the employees.  My porch is weird.  It’s sunny and burning hot on one side, shady and slightly-less-burning-hot on the other.  I asked her about everything I had my eye on after 30 minutes of perusing, and discovered that it would all work, depending on where I put it.  Glory!

..I also came across the SCARIEST DAMN PLANT I’VE EVER SEEN.  Google “Rabbit’s Foot Fern” and let me know what you think.  I literally froze in my tracks for about 10 minutes when I came across one there .  In that way prey freezes in headlights.  I couldn’t bring myself to snap a shot, nor can I stand to share an image here.  That’s how SQUICKY they are!

Okay, I’m rambling and there’s miles to go.  I think I’m just happy to talk to y’all.  So I made my purchases, which included a 50-Gallon bag of some of the BEST dirt I’ve ever worked with, and made my way home to get it all up to the porch so I could then haul out and buy some new pots from Home Depot. (I know I know.  But Urban Roots had all of these incredible arty pots and planters but they were ‘spensive and I needed Simple, you know?)

Garden3

Kids tucked into the back seat.

After all those errands, I was so ready to get to work.  And I found me.  I did what I used to do.  I drank wine, played in the dirt, and talked to the plants.  If I had not been so happy, I would have cried.  It was the most at peace that I’d felt in a year and a half.

No joke.

So without further ado, here’s some of my new family.

Garden4
Lavender and Mint! Peace and Mint Juleps, anyone?

 

Garden5
I got Thyme!  It wasn’t until I was repotting that I realized I had both Lavender AND Thyme, the
the two key herbs in my witchy Lavender Herb Bread which I make for Beltane and the like.

 

Garden6Rosemary!!!!!!  This scent and what I can do with this herb
bring back the best memories and associations of my life.

Garden7Cotton Candy Fern.  Because it’s SO FLUFFY!

Garden8Hawaiian Antherium, because I love it that I can grow Sub-Tropic stuff now.
Rusty the Welded Weiner Hound created years ago from a Near and Dear.

Garden9

This is an Amaryllis I planted months ago just after we moved in.
It was a three-year-old gift and I thought it was a dry dead bulb.  Joke’s on me!

Garden10

Final porch shot with all the plant-kids nestled.

Now, every time I step onto my porch, whether it’s to greet the sun or to collapse from another stressful workday, my first instinct is to Check the Plants.  And that’s how it should be.

Featured Image: Detail of Porch, Green Man and Voodoo – the best of both my worlds.

Advertisements

2 Comments Add yours

  1. LOVE the way your gallery turned out! The plants are beautiful. Did you wash the smudges of dirt off your face before going to work this morning:)

    ________________________________

    1. It’s hard to come to work now because I just want to sit out there all the time. ;D I did get all the dirt off though! …I think. 0_o

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s