Fiddling In The Garden & Remembering Donald HodgsonSaturday, May 17, 2014
My North Vancouver friend Donald Hodgson (now deceased) used to call me every May. We would discuss our mutual like for that shade-tolerant perennial, the hosta. He would always say, “God, hostas look so fresh and new when they emerge in May. When there are no slug holes. They are pristine. There is nothing better.” And he was right.
The garden is looking pretty good right now as Rosemary and I work on it. We are opening our garden, mid June for the Vancouver Rose Society. All this work for one day seems almost laughable. But it isn’t. At one time it was a lot worse.
I have psoriatic arthritis. A couple of years ago after a day of heavy work I could not move in bed in the evening and I would groan all night. Now with my heavy duty medicine Humira I can move in bed but I still groan. There are things I used to take for granted like snipping and pruning with my Felco secateurs or lopping thicker branches with the lopper. Now I almost cannot do this.
After a few hours of snipping it somehow affects my right elbow and the pain is intense to the point that I am unable to switch on the ignition of our Malibu. But I have to admit that if I pace myself (just a bit) I can somehow work in the garden every day.
|Hosta 'Blue Whirls' left & right Hosta 'Yellow River' , fern Onoclea sensibilis
I miss Donald Hodgson right now. The hostas are beautiful and as he would say, they are pristine. But in my now-decade-interest in roses, these plants beckon, too. They have buds. One day there is a bud. The next day, you just might miss that the bud is now open and the rose is glorious.
But best of all is that most of the heavy work is done and now I can fiddle in the garden. I can sit with Casi-Casi on the bench. I can listen to the rustle of the leaves and smell the Rhododendron luteum’s yellow flowers. I can water which is awfully relaxing. And sometimes, if I am lucky, I can even persuade my Rosemary to relax and sit with me.