Monday, May 12, 2008

The Gnomes Have Got Me!

I have a good friend who, whenever she's being rather quiet, e-mails to say that "the gnomes have got me", meaning that they've had enough of working in the garden on their own and they've dragged her, and sometimes other family members, outside to help.

And that is one of the reasons (the others are too complicated or boring or overwwhelming to force you to read about) I haven't blogged for a couple of days. I've been hitting the nurseries and nursery departments in town and working in my gardens.

Before I go back out for another round of weeding, planting, and watering, I'll use the opportunity to do a garden themed travel post. The French and English both take their gardens VERY seriously and I thought I'd just throw up a few of the hundreds of garden photos I took on holiday. There were so many though, I was overwhelmed, until I remembered my search for a gnome. About halfway through our time in Paris, I decided I wanted a wee gnome to bring home. It seemed a fitting memento of the trip, a la Amelie's father's traveling gnome symbolism. It would remind me to nuture both roots and wings - to care for my own garden with love and affection but also not to forget to occasionally go visit all the other beautiful gardens this world has to offer.

Alas, my search was unsuccessful. I couldn't find a gnome small enough to come home in my luggage. The gnomes in the photo above were MUCH too large.

And not far away, another window full of small and medium sized gnomes.

This particular area was filled with nurseries. One shop had an entire section of gnomes just inside their door. I tried to take a photo but an employee shooed me away. At that point in time it hadn't occurred to me yet to find one to buy and we never managed to make it back to this part of town (or the flower market) when the shops were open.

But it's okay, I'm feeling philosophical about it. "If it had been meant to happen" and all that. And now that I'm back home and looking around, I realize I actually have at least a dozen gnomes of various sizes tucked in about my house and gardens. Not a French gnome, but.. maybe next trip.

We saw other lovely garden creatures, like these humongous tortoises. I so wish I could have brought one of these guys home for Joli's new back yard. I'm positive they would have gone over the weight limit for my return luggage, however.

Colorful choices all priced in euros. I'm glad the plants I've picked up the last couple of days are marked in American dollars - easier on the pocketbook.

Being a small town, there's not a lot of nursery choices available. Fortunately, we have two nurseries who make an effort to offer some heirloom choices. They're individual pots instead of six packs, and pricier because of it, but I've given up my gardening-to-feed-a-family-of-seven homesteading mentality and instead decided to buy and grow for my own pleasure. There's just the three of us now (two if you count William's typical teen avoidance of eating at home) and my gardening areas are not conducive to large scale plantings of any kind. It's definitely a small scale intensive set up.

So I bought a half dozen different kinds of heirloom eggplant plants. Or as the French call them - aubergine. Because I love the look of them. I love the taste of them. I bought large almost blooming plants that will, knock on wood, provide me with the beauty of long thin deeply colored eggplant, and tiny, white eggshell eggplant, and plump lavender eggplant, and tomato shaped striped eggplant and....

Mother's Day weekend is the local "tempt the last freeze date by a week" beginning of the gardening season. Serious gardeners have already planted early greens, peas, and put out water tipi protected tomatoes, but the nurseries get hit by your average consumer this last weekend. I'm usually amongst the early bird gardeners, but what with being gone, and woefully behind on garden tasks (YEARS behind), I wisely only bought enough flowers and vegetables to whet my appetite and inspire me to keep on working through the sore muscles. I didn't want to buy flats and more flats of plants only to watch them shrivel up and die before I could get them all planted.

I guess if the gnomes can drag me off (and I hear them starting to make plans to storm the back door if I don't get out there soon), turn around is fair play. I actually took this photo when I was in Paris two years ago with William. I was happy to see that he'd made his escape since then.

And now, back to playing in the dirt.

Some inspiring close-ups from Monet's garden over on Laume's Studio today.


Blogger Stephanie said...

Count me as one that is at the garden shop on Mother's Day...only to buy a taste as we have rain/snow mix all this week.

I'm off to explore the rest of your travel pics...Monet's garden!!!! Can't wait...


7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL! and yes, I have been out in the garden. Organizing wee trolls more than actually getting dirty though. It's STILL snowing around here!

5:26 PM  
Blogger Belita Rose said...

I LOVE the turtles!!

5:47 PM  

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