Thursday, March 24, 2011

Come into the garden, Maud

For the record my name is not Maud.

It's Spring down South. The temperature varies between cool and warm. Live things are growing furiously and my lawn is lush and green and dew sodden in the morning. Birds are singing (and bells are ringing if you're a big Beatles fan) and I am amazed at how the urge to make things grow rushes upon me. This happens every year, and I end up spending a lot of money on plants and stuff at the local gardening centre and then watch the majority of those plants die and the stuff remain unused.
The plants die for a number of reasons. Sometimes it's the dog. Sometimes it's the unbelievable heat of midsummer. Sometimes I just never get to planting them.
And my garden is not big, but it's much bigger than I am used to. And although I have plans, I lack the faith to tackle one small section at a time and believe that one day it will be what I dream. It all seems so overwhelming. A long list of things to do, all of which require more than a 24 hour bout of determination.

But I can't help the urge to plant stuff. It's my own personal siren's song. So once again this year, I have made plans and bought more stuff. There is a small area at the screened in porch that is hard and compacted mud and has a few straggly plants that are really struggling. Part of the issue is that when I cut down a tree a few years ago I brought a lot more sun into that area than ever before, so all the shade plants there have really struggled. Yesterday I went and bought 3 rose bushes. I'm not even sure what kind they are (here we go again...) and started digging a bed.

Digging a flower bed is new to me and I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing . I have  a vague idea of removing rocks and roots and loosening soil. I have decided that I will need to cart off some of the really compact mud and replace it with compost and 'boughten' soil. I have purchased some edging that is slightly raised and will try and make that hold back some of the soil erosion that happens every year. And I have also obtained some of that anti-weed matting that apparently will also help absorb and hold water that should help when summer hits really hard. And apparently I need to dig a 2 foot hole for the roses. Frankly I'm not sure I can. I have the fitness of an 80 year old woman. (Although the Wii says I have the fitness of a 28 year old, which is why I ignore it's opinion on everything!)

Are roses hard? I hope not. I think they are beautiful. And want one small piece of my back garden to be done. Completed. Not half weed and overgrown azaleas...

And it seems only fitting to end with Lord Tennyson.

Come into the garden, Maud,
For the black bat, Night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
I am here at the gate alone;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
And the musk of the roses blown.

For a breeze of morning moves,
And the planet of Love is on high,
Beginning to faint in the light that she loves
On a bed of daffodil sky,
To faint in the light of the sun she loves,
To faint in his light, and to die.

All night have the roses heard
The flute, violin, bassoon;
All night has the casement jessamine stirr'd
To the dancers dancing in tune:
Till a silence fell with the waking bird,
And a hush with the setting moon.

I said to the lily, "There is but one
With whom she has heart to be gay.
When will the dancers leave her alone?
She is weary of dance and play."
Now half to the setting moon are gone,
And half to the rising day;
Low on the sand and loud on the stone
The last wheel echoes away.

I said to the rose, "The brief night goes
In babble and revel and wine.
O young lordlover, what sighs are those
For one that will never be thine?
But mine, but mine," so I sware to the rose,
"For ever and ever, mine."

And the soul of the rose went into my blood,
As the music clash'd in the hall;
And long by the garden lake I stood,
For I heard your rivulet fall
From the lake to the meadow and on to the wood,
Our wood, that is dearer than all;

From the meadow your walks have left so sweet
That whenever a March-wind sighs
He sets the jewelprint of your feet
In violets blue as your eyes,
To the woody hollows in which we meet
And the valleys of Paradise.

The slender acacia would not shake
One long milk-bloom on the tree;
The white lake-blossom fell into the lake,
As the pimpernel dozed on the lea;
But the rose was awake all night for your sake,
Knowing your promise to me;
The lilies and roses were all awake,
They sigh'd for the dawn and thee.

Queen rose of the rosebud garden of girls,
Come hither, the dances are done,
In gloss of satin and glimmer of pearls,
Queen lily and rose in one;
Shine out, little head, sunning over with curls,
To the flowers, and be their sun.

There has fallen a splendid tear
From the passion-flower at the gate.
She is coming, my dove, my dear;
She is coming, my life, my fate;
The red rose cries, "She is near, she is near;"
And the white rose weeps, "She is late;"
The larkspur listens, "I hear, I hear;"
And the lily whispers, "I wait."

She is coming, my own, my sweet;
Were it ever so airy a tread,
My heart would hear her and beat,
Were it earth in an earthy bed;
My dust would hear her and beat,
Had I lain for a century dead;
Would start and tremble under her feet,
And blossom in purple and red. 

Isn't it beautiful?


firefly said...

It's very, very beautiful indeed.

(Meredith Willson was no Tennyson, that's for certain!)

garret said...

When you first mentioned Maud I thought of L.M. Montgomery who prefered to be called Maud. That would work though, she did like to garden, and she did like Tennyson.