Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It isn't an adventure without the panic

This is me, scrambling to get some of my container plants into my orangerie ahead of the Polar Vortex.

It's really just a temporary greenhouse that I use for a shade structure, but I like the word "orangerie." It conjures up graceful villas in Provence or Tuscany--which, as you can see here, our humble estate clearly resembles, nutsedge and all.

I took the afternoon off from school because I worked on Saturday, and Sunday was spent draining the fountain and removing the drip timers from faucets so they wouldn't freeze, as well as a few hundred other household chores unrelated to the forecast. So today I took two or three hours to move the plants and pull the greenhouse cover over the frame and secure it. But now everything is snug, and watched over by the Guard Rabbit.

I did this yesterday afternoon, and last night I drifted in and out of sleep listening to the wind howling in advance of the cold front. It filled me, improbably, with a sense of satisfaction and calm--not because my plants and equipment were safe, but because the storm is bigger than me. It is the same feeling I get when I stare at the ocean. I find it a relief to be around something grander than all of my cares.

It is like this every year, isn't it? We stretch out the garden season for as long as we can, and then one day it is time and there is a mad scramble to get it all done before the freeze hits. In years past I was stressed out by it, but this year, it felt right somehow--the rushing around, the urgency. The cheerful panic. It is one way we know that we are alive. We need stress of the fun kind once in a while--it's why we like roller coasters, and skiing, and going downhill on our bicycles. Gardening, like life and roller coaster rides, just wouldn't be as much fun without a few screams.


  1. How I've missed your philosophical posts, Susan. Glad you're back! And yes, what would gardening be without chills and thrills!

  2. It's good to be back, Pam! I'm finally able to catch my breath at work, but I needed that nudge from the Flingers to jump start my blogging. :-)

  3. There you are, Susan! I was thinking about you recently and hoping all was well. Still love your writing, and really appreciate it! It's down in the teens this week in eastern WA state, after a very mild fall. Brrrr. Do take care!


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