Archive for June, 2010

There is a Season

Posted by: Heidi

June 22nd, 2010 >> Books

Thinking about the cycle of life in the garden reminded me about Patrick Lane’s book, “There is a Season”, which I first read several years ago and have now started reading again. This book is a beautifully descriptive memoir of both Lane’s difficult life and the life of his garden. Lane sees his garden’s life as intertwined with his own and tending to it brings him solace and healing. He writes about creating a refuge in his garden, “a garden is a real place imagined and, with time and care, an imagined place made real.”

Recovering from years of addiction, Lane came out of rehab and spent a year in his garden on Vancouver Island observing the seasonal changes and writing about the happenings in his garden, his own activities as well as those of the many other garden inhabitants. He writes evocative descriptions of the animals, birds, insects, and plants in his garden, and of the relationship he has to them all. Lane observes that “a garden is a place of harmony, of balance and it is made from living things.”

I love Lane’s lyrical writing style and poetic descriptions of the smallest details in his garden’s life. His book meanders through a year in his garden, taking many little side trips to explore, often painful, memories from his past and then returns again to the peace and serenity of his garden sanctuary. He recognizes that all of his past experiences have brought him to the place that he is now. According to Lane, “we are what resembles us, in the garden as in our lives.”

This wonderful little book can be purchased in Canada here:

There Is A Season: A Memoir

or in the US here:

There Is A Season: A Memoir

A shadow in the garden

Posted by: Heidi

June 14th, 2010 >> my garden, Photos

Often on a warm spring evening after work I go out into the garden to clear my head. Sometimes I bring my camera and snap a photo here and there to capture a perfect new bloom or to record how big something has grown. The garden is always changing itself and often on these little evening strolls I will make small changes too by pulling a weed, cutting off a spent flower or watering a dry area.

Occasionally I don’t see anything that needs to be done. When the garden seems to be managing on its own it is sometimes better not to interfere. At these times I am struck by the strength and persistence of the garden and I simply look around and appreciate what it has produced. On these evenings the only effect my presence has on the garden is to cast a brief shadow.

The shadows that we see are cast by the things that we do.

The cycle of life in the garden

Posted by: Heidi

June 6th, 2010 >> my garden, Photos

Seeing life as a garden connects us with the cycle of life. The changing seasons are an important aspect of life in a garden, the seasonality of appearance and disappearance, and the acceptance of old things dying as new things come alive. So too are the seasons of our lives.

Just as we nurture and sustain our gardens we also need to nurture ourselves and nurture the things that are important in our lives. Strongly rooted plants will often survive much neglect but if we don’t nurture what is most precious and fragile it may slowly fade away. A little nourishment can revive, restore and encourage growth.

“If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn
They will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem.”~ L. Cohen