Bouquet of fresh peonies from Carol's garden

Bouquet of fresh peonies from Carol’s garden

” . . . [the peonies] have come into their full adult beauty, not strapping, but statuesque — the beauty of women, as Chekhov says, ‘with plump shoulders’ and with long hair held precariously in place by a few stout pins.  They are white, voluminous, and here and there display flecks of raspberry red on the edges of their fleshy, heavily scented petals.
These are not Protestant-work-ethic flowers.  They loll about in gorgeousness; they live for art; they believe in excess.  They are not quite decent, to tell the truth.  Neighbors and strangers slow their cars to gawk.”
— Jane Kenyon, “The Moment of Peonies,” Yankee, June 1991

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Thank you, Carol, for this lush bouquet.  It is scenting the room as I write this.  Ahhh!

The 20th Annual Greenwood Car Show

Yesterday was the 20th annual Greenwood Car Show.  I’m not particularly in love with mechanical things, like cars, but my walk to work took me past 15 blocks of polished, colorful, beloved vehicles from antique to vintage to modern.  The crowds were already gathering early, and I’m sure that later in the day while I was at work, the street was thronged.  It struck me that this was a friendly family affair — lots of dads with wives and kids in tow, lots of dogs on leashes, and even one cat in a stroller!  So I was glad to be part of this event, even in a small way as a casual observer on my walk to work.  Here are some pictures of my impressions:

The cars were lined up with hoods open to showcase their inner workings.

Cadillac grille

Vintage Mustang

Leather gloves on steering wheel

Memories of the 50s — this little display went round and round like a carousel.

More memories of the 50s — the drive up

Looking at classic cars, the Greenwood Car Show

Classic car in yellow

I loved the weathered look of this old Studebaker

A great day for dads with their kids

Guys with their toys, big and little

Fascinated

Little details added interest

The crowd early in the day along Greenwood Avenue N

A new variation of flame theme

Nursery Visit

May 11, 2009

Dog in shopping basket
Dog in shopping basket
Pansies for sale
Pansies for sale
Colorful lawn chairs in striped light
Colorful lawn chairs in striped light
Who knew wire plant cages came is such vibrant colors?
Who knew wire plant cages came is such vibrant colors?
Gardening gloves
Gardening gloves

With all the talk of rhubarb, I may have given the mistaken impression that I am a gardener.  I am not.  My garden has rhubarb, rosemary, lavender, and day lilies — all plants that thrive on benign neglect and return, year after year, on their own internal cycles. 

I sometimes wonder why a farmer’s daughter like me is not drawn to gardening. Certainly my siblings are good gardeners.  I think I lack a nurturing gene, and too many memories of  “child labor” pulling weeds in our huge farm garden on hot, humid, buggy Minnesota days.

I delight in other people’s gardens, though.  I love to look at all the flowers in my neighbors’ yards.  And I crave fresh and tasty home-grown produce.  I enjoy visits to the plant nursery, too.  I marvel at the healthy, vibrantly colored plants and savor the scents of rosemary, roses, and other growing things.  When I looked at the photos I took on a recent nursery visit, I did notice that my eye was drawn as much to the colorful gardening tools, implements, and lawn furnishings as it was to the plants!  Another indication that my inner gardener lies dormant.