inhale lavender and dig in

by rebecca on June 6, 2011

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          Purple, green and blue: the return of these colors is a sure sign of spring. After a season of grey and white, the beauty confetti of these colors shocks my senses and I awaken from that wintry slumber.  Spring has come late to where I live.

          Lavender smells like lilacs. When I was about 10 years old there was a gigantic lilac bush where my sister and I made a hideout. We had picnics there and ate blueberries by the bucket. We salted green peppers and ate cheese in cubes.

          I will always feel larger with lilacs around; arms of purple beauty urging me to paint the sky as they do with their fingers.

          I am given grief for my lack of vegetable garden, but it is always beauty I seek first. I am fed first with my eyes. My belly is quieted later. It’s taken me time in this new home to find my gardening landscape, but it’s beginning to bloom and here come flax (is that right?) and these little pink beauties whose name I don’t know.

          My sister, who has the garden of my dreams, dug up her iris and I managed to make a few bloom.

          I know that petunias are not perennials, but I love the red and purple together.

          This white is softness and it inspires me to keep the bind weed at bay.

          Gardening is wonderful once I’m outside, but I often find it difficult to dig out the time to sit and pull weeds or plant myself in ideas of where something new might grow. I lack imagination until I’m breathing the fresh air. It’s like so much of life: I don’t understand it until I’m doing it.

          A fist full of orange is waiting in this handful of poppy.


What is waiting outside your door that beckons you to bloom? What is the something you’re almost doing but haven’t yet dug in? What smells like spring or summer to you?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Margaret Reyes Dempsey June 6, 2011 at 5:53 pm

I love lavendar. I have a sachet in my bedside table drawer for inspiration. I know it’s supposed to be relaxing, but I find it invigorating.

My peonies have already bloomed and I brought two bouquets inside for my great great grandmother’s crystal vases. My bedroom was filled with the scent.

Now my roses are going wild. Sigh. I love this time of year.


Yvette Francino June 6, 2011 at 8:03 pm

It’s funny, I’ve been thinking all day that I need to blog about my lilac bushes. There are only a couple of weeks out of the year that it’s in full bloom. This is that time. They are right outside my office window, so I open it up and breath in their perfume all day! I am not much of a gardener, but my lilacs (and iris’s, which are also blooming this week) seem to survive my brown thumb and all the bunnies and always bring me pleasure this time of year!


rachel June 7, 2011 at 9:16 am

there’s a garden out back, overgrown but resilient none-the-less (it’s home to the largest pepper bush i’ve ever seen and these onions that simply won’t not grow and cherry tomatoes, too, that make their way up the back wall). i have spent hours looking at it, wondering what it would be like to spend an afternoon hauling the weeds out and churning the soil. i always find a reason not to, though. there is a part of me that would like to see the garden flourish, but there is also a part of me that is enchanted by the plants that flourish in spite of the disregard we’ve shown the plot.

“It’s like so much of life: I don’t understand it until I’m doing it.”–i love this.


rebecca June 7, 2011 at 9:53 am


You are so ahead of me! Peonies AND roses? The greenery of my roses is just starting to rise above my knee. I don’t think I’ve even spied a bud there yet. But, then again, I could have skied eight minutes up the road two weeks ago so, hey.


rebecca June 7, 2011 at 10:00 am


I agree. Lilacs and iris are my favorite flowers. I think they might be the reason that May is my favorite month. (I know it’s June right now, but when I was growing up and at lower elevation these flowers arrived in May.) Have you ever been to Iris Gardens in Boulder? The place is a sight to behold! When the kids were little I used to walk them there, pulling the wagon. I could buy the cut stems for fifty cents. I’d fill up the house with those fragrant creatures. I loved seeing my toddlers in the wagon with arm loads of those tall stalks as I’d pull the wagon home. Glorious. A good grandma excursion for certain! They might still be blooming. Give a call.


rebecca June 7, 2011 at 10:12 am


When I was a little girl and shared a bed part time with my sister she’d beg me to tell her a story as we (mostly me) were falling asleep. If I fell alseep too quickly, she’d poke me awake so I could continue the story. Her favorite story was Rapunzel. She loved the part about the garden: “The man snuck into the garden at night. The garden was rich and overgrown. The garden was vast and plentiful. Surely no one would miss just a little bit. His wife was so, so hungry. And so in he went under the cover of darkness…”

But as you might know, the bad witch caught him and made him pay for his crime by sacrificing his daughter. The girl then lived in a tower for years and years growing her hair so the imposter “mother” could climb up it. It’s such an odd story. Things that flourish in odd places. Tomatoes and hair.

You’ve let me recall snuggling with my sister. What a lovely thing. I’m glad you have a tenacious garden to insipre growth. It’s just the thing a mother needs to allow gentleness in at the edges.


SuziCate June 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm

This post is pure comfor to me….love the purple and the flowers, all of which I manage to grow with my black thumb, self sufficient I call them, And yes, those are phlox (not flax but close) VERY special memories for me as my next door neighbor who was my babysitter grew those the full width and length of the bank that separated our properties…it’s a sense of belonging that I can’t even begin to explain! And yes, I am ready to bloom. Am going to send you an email or FB inbox…am planning soon to take 10 days unpulgged, no cell , no computer, just a river and mountains and hopefully working on two manuscripts at night…..a few weeks away but I can’t wait!!!!!


rebecca June 7, 2011 at 7:43 pm


Phlox! Of course! I should have googled, but this is so much more fun! And a bank of them over which to chat with a neighbor? Lovely. Have a great river/mountain trip. I know I’ll look forward to the photos upon your return.


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