The Joys of Weeding
by Janina Fialkowska
The 2016-2017 season is over. The last concert has been played, the final competition has been judged, the last flight has been endured, the luggage is unpacked, the laundry is done, the house is swept clean, the taxes are paid, the remaining correspondence has been dealt with … and now, the garden beckons.
I’ve been home for five days, but there was so much catching-up to do, the garden has remained tantalizingly beyond reach. I’ve walked through it every day since my return, my eyes feasting on all the delights to come, my brain cataloging which projects I should tackle first and now, today, after having practiced the piano all morning like a good girl, the time has come.
A solitary cuckoo is making its presence felt in the distance. A stork flies overhead, its beak full of twigs and hay as it heads for the nest. The sky is a typical Bavarian sky one sees so often in the ceiling frescoes of the cheerful baroque churches; brilliant blue with enormously soft clouds … a lovely cool breeze caresses one’s skin. For someone who has just spent two weeks in the 35 degree temperatures of Tel Aviv ( not to mention the January snowstorm in Budapest, the freezing cold of Moscow, the March dampness of British Columbia and the April chill of the British Isles) I feel as though I have died and gone to heaven.
Planting comes first and so I am reveling in mud, with pots of fragrant herbs being given new life and delicate Clematis vines whose flowers will define our terrace walls. The new Forsythia and Lilac bushes I had planted a month ago during one of those brief pit-stops between engagements, are flourishing although I worry about the transplanted Rhododendron who doesn’t seem very pleased in its new, protected location; its leaves betray its unhappiness- I shall keep an eye on it.
Weeds have sprung up everywhere with abandon and I admit I love the bright yellow Dandelions and Buttercups and am loath to part with them.
The bees, from our neighbour’s hives, are omnipresent sipping nectar from the sweet-smelling Vibernum blossoms, overflowing Forget-me nots and the purple Wisteria buds.
My Spring bulbs managed to hang on until I came home: riotous colours amongst the Tulips, blue beds of Scyllas and Grape Hyacinths, intoxicating Lilies of the valley, bold Ranunculus and perfumed Hyacinths.
Life is renewing itself everywhere.
I love being a pianist and no one has fought harder for their musical existence … but it is not all-consuming.
The components of my life are entwined and provide a comfortable synergy. My garden is an integral, vital part providing joy, constant miracles, a feast for the senses and a therapeutic sense of repose.