Green waste bag

I am drowning in green waste! The large bag I keep for that purpose is overflowing. If the worms in my worm farm had arms they’d be throwing them up in the air protesting ‘no more! We can’t eat another thing!’

Some plants in my tiny courtyard are turning brown and shrivelling back to the earth from which they sprang. I collect what seems like a mountain of dead leaves every day. But this isn’t unexpected. It’s winter after all. While most  of my plants are evergreen, deciduous gingers and other exotics are shedding, dying back and making ready for the new. It’s the natural cycle of life. Some have long lives and others short ones. What’s gone before isn’t always a reliable indicator.

‘Who knows whether the gods will add tomorrow to the present hour?’ ~Horace

When I think about this I realise how the cycles of nature inform my expectations of the life span. For the deciduous gingers, life of the upper part of the plant can be measured in three seasons; its root system however, lasts many seasons. Our own, if we are lucky, spans many many more. But if I’m honest I see anomalies exist; accidents do happen and plagues, disease and disasters are indiscriminately visited upon all living things – there is no absolute certainty in life.


Deciduous Singapore ginger

The thing is we seem to have an innate confidence in getting our biblical allocation of three score years and ten, at the very least.

A number of events in recent weeks has jolted me into reconsidering this premise. None of us has a guarantee. There is no Fair Trading authority, no Life-span Ombudsman to complain to if we are short changed. Life is tenuous. Nature in my garden rudely thrusts the evidence of this right under my averted gaze. Grasshoppers destroyed so many plants this year. Extreme weather tested others.

This week, I learned of the Orlando massacre, a child taken by an alligator. I heard a friend faces a life-limiting disease. A young nephew experienced serious brain trauma.

Life is tenuous.

Don’t waste a minute.

Dance on the clock!

Gather ye rose-buds while ye may;
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.
~Robert Herrick

30 responses to “Tenuous

  1. So true. And after filling yet another sack with weeds and prunings (?) I have the feeling that this garden of mine is going to be a full-time job! What is that saying? Be careful what you wish for?

    Liked by 2 people

      • I have left mine to do its own thing since moving in 3 months ago, to see what emerges, but now that i can recognise the weeds (and the thugs) I am being quite tough. I like a wild garden, but on my terms and as it is only a small garden I’d like more than buttercups, hogweed and forget-me-nots 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      • South-west Cornwall Robyn, high up on the Downs so it gets a lot of wind and cloud / fog / moisture! West facing so sun practically all day when there is some 😉
        I’d say a Mediterranean climate with wind.

        Liked by 2 people

      • It is quite a mature garden so there is some shelter, but main challenge is to actually cut back some of the overgrown climbers as they are rampant! The soil is very fertile.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sounds like a project! There’s something about reshaping a mature garden to your liking. I imagined Cornwall would be cold but Mediterranean you say. Sounds promising. I’ll look forward to hearing of your progress. Those vines would have extensive root systems so I can imagine you could prune them back hard and retrain them. Won’t be long before you have the garden you want without having to start from scratch. 😄

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’d like some Australian and New Zealand plants, but I need to find out which ones don’t mind the wind. I’m happy to experiment for a few years until I get it the way I like it, but saying that gardens never stay the same do they?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. After the recent tragedies and trying to work through my fears I have to keep reminding myself that life is a series of split seconds and the next breath isn’t promised to any of us. We do have an expiration date and the very best we can do is to enjoy each of our moments. Thank you for this important reminder.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Hello, Robyn – As you can see, i’m up late again tonight (it’s 1:30AM. We have to stop meeting like this. Yes, the roses are quite fragrant. I’ll take some photos of the rose garden at the University. I was once in charge of a team which cared for the roses. I took photos and made up a lovely pamphlet which they still use today.New England weather can be a bit harsh on them, but we chose varieties which would withstand some of the impediments thrown in their way. Methinks I will do a post on them very soon. I’m glad you liked the Cloud post. Going through my old photos of trips, I found I had quite a few pictures of the different types to use for illustrating. Happy Tuesday!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh dear! It’s my experience that these sleepless phases come in runs. Let’s hope you’re at the end of yours. Looking forward to the roses. What a lovely project to be involved with at the university.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Robyn, It was my volunteer project as a Master Gardener at the University. The summer was quite hot, but we did have an automatic underground drip system in place. Deadheading and taking off any spotted leaves took up lots of time. Everything was organic, so no pesticides could be used. And of course pruning in the fall was a major undertaking. I haven’t been active with the MG’s in some time, but I’ll stop by the garden some time to get safew photos. It would make a nice post.🌹


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