Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Truth About Gardening

Today is Halloween, and fortunately these plants you are about to see were put into their pockets last weekend, or was it the weekend before I went up to Duluth to help install an art project? Truth is that I cannot recall, but at the very least, when I look outside, now that our long summer has changed to autumn, I see that someone has put these plants into the ground.

I like buying plants in autumn because they're usually discounted, if a bit root bound from a summer in a pot, and since I have no trouble keeping plants alive I rarely lose one to a root bound condition. It is winter that I am worried about. Egged on by continuously warm weather, I allowed these potted plants to sit around as I wondered whether this warmth would hold out. I used the time on more pressing housework, notably siding and windows. Meanwhile, the vegetable patch looked like August and it was October.

Although finally, while I was in Duluth, a light freeze made an appearance, yet the weather hadn't really changed. We are about to go into the sixties for several days. Gardening is out of the question, the idea needed to be put to bed. Rather, I'll be using a two part epoxy resin to harden rotted brickmould and jambs, waiting over night, then filling these pockets with a two part epoxy putty, waiting over night, and then priming and painting them.

I'll be using the best paint possible, and fortunately Sherwin Williams sent me a customer appreciation coupon for 30% off, starting tomorrow. The best paint available is expensive, over seventy dollars a gallon, but windows are way more expensive. Your contractor will tell you it is three thousand a hole and you are surrounded by holes; we all like a picture of the land on our walls. A window is the conceptual preamble to landscape painting, so I do not underestimate its hold on us. Yet a cold of twenty below zero is a phantom that makes sieves of our aesthetics and the rot in a jamb exposes the carpenter who refused our only defense -that apotropaic, pink spun glass.

It may be unfathomable to those in warmer corners, but I welcome the oncoming cold as a return to interiority, away from the outdoor projects I thought I could accomplish last spring. These will have to wait. There are indoor projects to be sure, but there is studio time, professional development, and even this journal to attend to.

There is a landscape project I wish to accomplish, at either a sculpture park or county park. Details to be worked out, but this Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata, is the seed of it. And I've yet to plant the garlic. Soon, maybe in a week's time. And painting, too, of course, there are several running in the studio now and an exhibit in Milwaukee for next fall. I will be teaching my course, once again next summer, at Art New England.

Bugbane or Cohosh, Cimicifuga racemosa.

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