Sunday Dinner: Details

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“Everything made by human hands

looks terrible under magnification-

-crude, rough, and asymmetrical.

But in nature every bit of life is lovely.

And the more magnification we use,

the more details are brought out,

perfectly formed,

like endless sets of boxes within boxes.”

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Roman Vishniac

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…  pay attention to the world and all that dwells therein

and thereby learn at last to pay attention to yourself

and all that dwells therein.”

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Frederick Buechner

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It is imperative, whether consciously or not,

that one observe the vast

as well as the infinitesimal

in order to create the image

or choose accurate words that ring true.”

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Elizabeth Winder

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“Tiny details imperceptible to us decide everything!”

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W.G. Sebald

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“To pay attention,

this is our endless and proper work.”

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Mary Oliver

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

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“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness.

If you are attentive, you will see it.”

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Thich Nhat Hanh

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“Miracles… seem to me to rest not so much upon

… healing power coming suddenly near us from afar

but upon our perceptions being made finer,

so that, for a moment, our eyes can see

and our ears can hear

what is there around us always.”

.

Willa Cather

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Lilac Revival

April 6, 2016 Parkway 008

This lovely Lilac, another gift left by previous gardeners here, is revived.

Covered in blooms again, with lush spring growth, it is finally performing better than it did that first spring we found it in our new garden .  Revived, you wonder?  What happened?

There was the small matter of Holly Tone,  spread generously for its acid loving neighbors…..   The Lilacs, there are two, are planted among Hydrangeas, Forsythia, and a Rose of Sharon.  I spread Holly Tone pretty generously on all of the acid loving shrubs our first few autumns in this garden.  Azaleas, Hydrangeas and their cousins love Holly Tone and respond with vigorous growth.

But not the Lilac, which prefers a sweet soil.  And these let me know right away that I had made their soil inhospitable.

It was a sad and sorry sight to watch them struggling along these past few years.  We gave them a little lime from time to time and some Plant Tone.   The crisis is finally passed, and they have covered themselves in abundant blooms and beautiful leaves for the first time in several years.

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April 6, 2016 Parkway 009

A large ‘Rose of Sharon’ tree towers over our Lilac, with Forsythia and Hydrangea shrubs behind. These have grown together in the garden for a very long time. It is wise to plant Lilac with at least 6′ feet all around for its future growth.

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Lilac shrubs enjoy full to partial sun and consistently moist soil.  They have few pests and require little or no maintenance.  Lilacs will grow into small trees if allowed, so plant them with plenty of space!  Deer won’t bother them, and they offer plenty of nectar for pollinators.

I order Lilac shrubs from mail order nurseries and grow them in a pot for their first few seasons, then move them out into the garden.  This is our current potted Lilac, our first with a white flower.  We will plant it in the garden after its bloom has finished.

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April 5, 2016 052~

Lilacs make wonderfully fragrant and colorful cut flowers.  Cutting lilacs to bring indoors is simply ‘pruning,’ which should only be done after they bloom each spring.  Prune too early, and you prune the flower buds away!  These long lived shrubs have been popular in both home and public gardens in Europe since late in the 16th Century; and in North American gardens since early colonial times..

There are Lilac enthusiasts who showcase their Syringa collection as the ‘bones’ of their garden.  They prove excellent additions to our Forest Garden.

Woodland Gnome 2016

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