Interior Gardens and Unfinished Business

Oh, if only it was that easy. Just follow the arrow and there it is, a lovely, lush interior garden.

Interior Gardens” is the name of the hydroponics and organic garden supply store I visited this weekend. While I pursue a lush exterior garden, I long most for lushness within. Instead, I am more like the ‘Secret Garden’ when it was first discovered.

“When it looks a bit greenish an’ juicy like that, it’s wick,” he explained. “When th’ inside is dry an’ breaks easy, like this here piece I’ve cut off, it’s done for. There’s a big root here as all this live wood sprung out of, an’ if th’ old wood’s cut off an’ it’s dug round, and took care of there’ll be-” he stopped and lifted his face to look up at the climbing and hanging sprays above him-“there’ll be a fountain o’ roses here this summer.” — “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I find hope in that — a fountain of roses (or Rose) this summer.

Right now, I’m eyeball deep in Master Gardener classes that I’m taking through the University of Minnesota. I have had modules on Lawn Care, Weed Management, Indoor Plants, Botany, Soils, Trees and Shrubs, Herbaceous Plants, Vegetable Gardening, and I just started learning about growing and harvesting fruits.

I am also working on setting up a hydroponic salad table to grow lettuces, basil, kale, and other greens as part of a trial for a non-circulating system. (You can find more information about the table here.) The table is built, the seeds have arrived, and all the nutrients, pots, and perlite have been purchased, just waiting for me to put it all together in my spare time.

No classes yet have told me how to grow spare time…

I got started on all of this because of my gardening interests and to counteract the dark effects of having a desk job that is so contrary to my nature. Drowning my free time in greenery and dirt is my attempt at maintaining some level of sanity.

Instead, I’ve gone completely bonkers — stressed and struggling to keep it all straight and meet deadlines both at work and at home.

And yet, a key turning in a door, an opening to something hidden, something “greenish and juicy” feels, oddly, just around the corner.

As I look out my window at the gray sky and trees waving in a cold wind, it’s hard to imagine growth, but I’m learning to not put too much stock in how things look.

This is cross-posted on Vision and Verb. And if you’re not read out yet, I have a few things to add here.


Besides all the gardening education I’m in the middle of and the salad table I’m starting up, I’m also writing. Yeah, yeah, whatever Maery…

No really, I am! I even have a contract to write a minimum of fifteen minutes per day on my book and this contract has been signed by me and witnessed by a friend, and so far, I’ve kept my contractual agreement. I know, fifteen minutes sounds lame but it’s what I can do even on my most demanding days and it keeps me in the story, which has turned out to be key.
I thought the book project would fit just fine with my gardening studies and volunteer work as I was going to start a book about growth — for the plants and myself. But through many starts and stops and dreams and just that irritating gut knowing, it’s turned out that that particular book can’t be written until I finish the one I started fourteen years ago, before I got married. 
It’s unfinished business shaking its chains and banging cupboard doors open and closed, and that annoying voice coming from the attic (even though I don’t have an attic) saying, “Maery, you must finish “Midnight Mama” if you ever want us to go towards the light.”
I think there’s a smoke machine running during all of this and creaking stairs… no wait.
There are doors slowly creaking open (rrrrrreeeeek), I turn to look but then behind me I hear  slow, methodical footfalls (click, click, crick, creak) on the stairs.

I only tell you all this as a way of politely saying, expect me to be weird, okay weirder, for awhile. It’s hard work. It’s a hard story. The thing is, I have a feeling that finishing that story will be the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. Okay, I am not confident in that feeling, but I am moving forward regardless.

So I ask for your understanding and patience if I don’t make sense at times. Or if I do start making sense, because that would really be strange.

It just means I’m working something out. And that’s a good thing. Seriously, it is.

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  1. I should mention that all photos were taken with my iPhone since I forgot my camera. My explanation for the lack of clarity (in the photos).

  2. Shoot it all to thunder!!! I commented and Google ate the whole stinkin’ thing!

    I was sayin’….there was a time when all I could grow were marigolds and believe me the yard was filled with ’em. Years of trial and error I am now considered a Master Gardner…go figure!

    I thought your pics were great, especially thrown from a phone.

    God bless and have a fantastic day sweetie!!!

  3. Your I-Phone takes perfectly fine photos. And oh how I want that sign! Yes, time. It is of the essence and yet there is so little of it. I find that the moment I hit send on a story, that has been crowding all my free fine until I’m done done done with it, it is like I go a little nuts. Funny… I am finishing up early for the summer because my Mom and I are working on a project together. A SALAD PATIO GARDEN! But we are getting one of those raised bed thingys, pre-made (we think) and actually we are looking for one with a lid to keep the most agile bunnies out. I’ll let you know what we find.

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