Nothing Grows with Sun Alone

So the rain never left us, just hesitated to refresh us, while hoping to remind us

that nothing grows with sun alone; thirst is one moment closer to hunger, and heat can wear out its welcome

for those who look for the willowherb to rise in sight of water, and the lily pad to float and blossom further out of its depths.

 

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

I originally posted this the summer of 2012, when, like this year, Western New York experienced a pretty severe drought. 

Now, after almost two and a half months of extreme heat and humidity, as September begins and summer winds down, some rain has come, enough to relieve and refresh. Today is most splendid: mid-70s F with bright sunshine, vivid colors, deep shadows, and a fresh breeze. Loving it! Did some gardening without sweating and windows are open! A day to be peaceful and content and, hopefully, productively creative.

Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.
~ John Updike


©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Repost: The Man Who Gave Me Flowers

I was feeling sorry for myself when I thought of the man who gave me flowers.

He said very little, saw such a lot, couldn’t read but was a master of growing.

He had barely avoided being lost in a mine shaft and had suffered a nervous breakdown over climbing ladders; but in retirement he made a real living out of pottering and obsessing—never lonelier, never happier, never available to anything but his bliss.

His specialties were sweet peas and chrysanthemums, the latter daisy-like or pompon-shaped and enormous like the inedible onions he also won prizes for. But the former were unwritten poetry: long-stemmed, crepe-papery, candy-colored and as sweetly scented.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

He sowed them early and prayed for gentle rain, cool sunshine and uneventful nights. He trained them up bamboo poles, tying them loosely so it was their idea to reach upwards. Suckers were cut off to ensure long strong stems; so were the tendrils that could make a mess of his plans. As the buds appeared he shielded them against the weather; as they blossomed he cut and arranged them in green metal vases with narrow bases and wide brims. The first crop over, he knew how to get another, folding the stalks down, a trick that fooled them into thinking they had to begin again.

They brought him visitors, a little cash (kept under his mattress) and a lot of praise, satisfaction and disbelief, and frustration because he couldn’t bear to waste his time on such things.

He never made me feel unwelcome, giving me a special bouquet he had put aside.  I had nothing to say but “thank you, it’s beautiful.”

All I really knew of him were the flowers he gave me.

I have sweet peas in my garden now, allowed free reign by my laziness, with suckers and tendrils, reaching and falling, rain soaked and wind broken, encouraged and burned by the sun, yet somehow as perfect as the ones he grew.

About that he maintains a heavenly silence.

 

This was first posted June 2013.

Alas, this year, some critters ate my sweet peas before they had a chance to climb and wander and flower.

 I have planted nothing but memories in their place.

Maybe next year …



donatellasmallest

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Repost: Blessed is the Rain

Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.
John Updike

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

So the rain never left us, just hesitated to refresh us, while hoping to remind us

that nothing grows with sun alone; thirst is one moment closer to hunger, and heat can wear out its welcome

for those who look for the willowherb to rise in sight of water, and the lily pad to float and blossom further out of its depths.



I originally posted this last summer – how different it was, as we were in the middle of a pretty severe drought.  A couple of days ago, Toronto, which is three or so driving hours north of here, was flooded, so perhaps in those circumstances being grateful for the rain is hard. It has been a much improved growing season to last year, though. Had my first local sweetcorn last night. And sweet cherries. Alas, the local strawberries are over … But with nature, there is always something to look forward to.

By the way, this image and prose-poem will be featured in a 2014 calendar I will have available from September. It will feature some paintings and writings from my blog. Like many things with me right now, it is a work in progress. I’ll keep you updated.

Blessings to all, whatever season you are in!

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

The Man Who Gave Me Flowers

I was feeling sorry for myself when I thought of the man who gave me flowers.

He said very little, saw such a lot, couldn’t read but was a master of growing.

He had barely avoided being lost in a mine shaft and had suffered a nervous breakdown over climbing ladders; but in retirement he made a real living out of pottering and obsessing—never lonelier, never happier, never available to anything but his bliss.

His specialties were sweet peas and chrysanthemums, the latter daisy-like or pompon-shaped and enormous like the inedible onions he also won prizes for. But the former were unwritten poetry: long-stemmed, crepe-papery, candy-colored and as sweetly scented.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

He sowed them early and prayed for gentle rain, cool sunshine and uneventful nights. He trained them up bamboo poles, tying them loosely so it was their idea to reach upwards. Suckers were cut off, which bothered him a little but ensured long strong stems; so were the tendrils that could make a mess of his plans. As the buds appeared he shielded them against the weather; as they blossomed he cut and arranged them in green metal vases with narrow bases and wide brims. The first crop over, he knew how to get another, folding the stalks down, a trick that fooled them into thinking they had to begin again.

They brought him visitors, a little cash (kept under his mattress) and a lot of praise, satisfaction and disbelief, and frustration because he couldn’t bear to waste his time on such things.

He never made me feel unwelcome, giving me a special bouquet he had put aside.  I had nothing to say but “thank you, it’s beautiful.”

All I really knew of him were the flowers he gave me.

I have sweet peas in my garden now, allowed free reign by my laziness, with suckers and tendrils, reaching and falling, rain soaked and wind broken, encouraged and burned by the sun, yet somehow as perfect as the ones he grew.

About that he maintains a heavenly silence.



In Memoriam (About my late father-in-law, 2005) (if you click on link, please scroll down …)

Bill Denton, retired groundskeeper (Wroxton), died on September 20, 2004. He joined Wroxton College in 1976 and worked on the Abbey grounds with his son, Robert Denton, groundskeeper (Wrox), until his retirement in 1999.

(I believe he was nearly 100 when he died … worked gardening on the Wroxton Abbey estate in Oxfordshire, England until he was about 94.)

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Yellow Flags

A winding road
had brought me back
to yellow flags
that grew the sun
out of the rain.
Forgetfulness
had left them there
to multiply
like bread and fish
for proof of faith.
Again I paused
and passed them by
golden moments
waving me on
without farewell.
Page 34 from A Friendship with Flowers ©

Page 34 from A Friendship with Flowers ©

The image is a page from my illustrated flower journal
A Friendship with Flowers
available on amazon.com with free shipping.
Also at amazon.co.uk.
And on Amazon in Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Cover Front Only Image

Video courtesy of wvoutdoorman’s channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaBN8JR-LWQ

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of  Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Repost: Clearing for Bluebells

I originally posted this poem last June. It was inspired by a post from Laurel’s Reflections (there is more about that below, with a link to her original post), who I am thinking about today.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

I am long gone
from that small coppice
where one man’s purpose
was all I had.

His saw, his scythe
cut through the clutter
to shed some light where
the ground was soft.

Fires were set
to burn away brash
and warm us at last
on such cold days.

We’d stop for lunch
and speak of nothing
except the birdsong
leaving winter.

He loved my hair
and constant silence
and woman’s promise
to stay for hope.

My hands, my heart
wanted to be his
working with nature’s
way of growing.

Clearing the way
for sunshine and rain
growing love not blame
from what was past.

Bluebells, bluebells
in sight and fragrance
I have come back since
just as he thought

I would.

Without darkness, Nothing comes to birth, As without light, Nothing flowers. May Sarton (American poet, novelist, and memoirist, 1912 – 1995)

I must acknowledge Laurel’s Reflections  as the inspiration for this painting and poem, specifically her post of  May 15, 2012, Bluebells and Other Delights where she shared some photographs taken on a family day out to Emmett’s Garden in Kent, UK. This post is dedicated to Laurel with wishes for her continued moving out of a tragic darkness into a flowering life.

Laurel has since moved back to South Africa where she and her lovely family are thankfully thriving.

This time around, I will add this wonderful YouTube clip I found: ‘Sea of Bluebells – Jenkinstown, Kilkenny early May 2013’. When I lived in England -in Wroxton, Oxfordshire – there was a coppice on the Abbey grounds (which I helped to clean up to bring in more light), and besides the blur of purple-blue, I recall the subtle but permeating hyacinth-scent …




©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Nature Insight: Blessed is the Rain

Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.
John Updike

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

So the rain never left us, just hesitated to refresh us, while hoping to remind us

that nothing grows with sun alone; thirst is one moment closer to hunger, and heat can wear out its welcome

for those who look for the willowherb to rise in sight of water, and the lily pad to float and blossom further out of its depths.





©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.