Garden and busy community provide comfort

Published 10:17 am Friday, June 17, 2011

“And then I feel the sun itself

as it blazes over the hills,

like a million flowers on fire —

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clearly I’m not needed,

yet I feel myself turning

into something of inexplicable value.”

– from Mary Oliver, “The Buddha’s Last Instruction”

Out in the backyard, Pooh’s garden is blooming; since he died in early May, I’ve had offers of dogs, cats and more, but have not felt quite ready to adopt another four-legged friend just yet.

I’ll know when the time is right. That does not mean I haven’t been ‘shopping’ the Shar-Pei rescue website again … all those adorable wrinkled faces speak to me, begging for a home.

His garden serves as great comfort to me in a tangible way – I can see it from where I paint on the back deck or arrive: there it is, waiting, just as he did when he was here. Soft lavender delphiniums on elegant spikes, trailing verbena, dusky French lavender, bright coreopsis, green hostas, white peonies, roses, iris, purple calla lilies, hydrangeas, globe basil, an occasional tomato, kale and more – all grace his resting place.

More plants are added as time goes along, with a birdbath for the birds Pooh enjoyed watching. This comforts my heart: the patient tending of earth and flora. Under the Japanese maple’s fishpond, Banjo the iridescent bullfrog watches from a rock perch, unafraid. We both miss Pooh, and he lets me playfully spray him with mist while I clean the pond filter. Doesn’t move an inch, just sits there happily, even as I admire his fine frog legs. Luckily for him, I’m not planning on frying them up for dinner just yet.

Community: The Saluda Tailgate Market is Friday from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Support local folks and enjoy the smiles, fresh and delicious offerings.

Many of our shops and restaurants are open longer hours or on Sundays. I always say for such a small town, we have some of the best food around!

Did you know that Thompson/Ward’s is celebrating with a re-grand opening? Wildflour Bakeshop has moved back into the old bakery location in Nostalgia Courtyard… facing Main Street, and Evening Shade Pottery moved to the alley between Ward’s Grill and Mountain Life Realty.

There is a lot going on in Saluda! Manna Cabana is open with fresh produce and more.

If you’d be interested in an informal, fun over-45 singles’ meeting for men and women to do: wine-tasting, river tubing, gallery strolls, dancing, concerts/movies/plays, trying restaurants, interesting discussions or whatever agenda is of group interest, send me your email address. We’ll have an initial meeting if there’s enough interest from yin and yang. (There’s a Singles Women United group in Saluda for ladies if you’d like to join their regular potluck gatherings at the Saluda Center.)

The Red Cross will have a Blood Drive at Saluda Fire and Rescue, June 14, 2 – 6:30 p.m.

Birthdays: Happy June Birthday to Nancy Barnett, Verne Dawson, Peggy Ellwood, Anna Jackson, Charlie Jackson, Amy Violet Ford and Terry Arrington.

Garden tips: You can easily root many plants this time of year, even by sticking cuttings from verbena in a glass jar at the window. Keep a container in your sink to catch water for plants. I add leftover coffee and grounds to the water, and the plants are appreciative.

Saucers of beer attract pesky slugs out in the yard. Earthworms love compost heaps, so I keep adding to mine, layers of organic kitchen scraps with dirt.

Thank you, dear readers, for reading this column. If you have something of note, feel free to contact me at; or 749-1153.

You may also visit my website at for more writing and art, or find me on Facebook.