Posts Tagged ‘pleasure’

Passing Pleasures: Grow Your Own Endorphins


It is my belief that, no matter how efficiently you want to manage your small space and make every square inch produce something, some of your land should be given over to something for each season that is so heart-stoppingly beautiful that you catch your breath when you see it. You can think of it as endorphin-farming if you like, and it’s an important part of what makes your gardening sustainable. The moments of joy that you experience can only do you good. For me, poppies will always be the ultimate late spring heart-stoppers, with their blend of drop-dead showiness and tissue-paper fragility. So I use a small swathe of my land for a wildflower circle where poppies are harmonized with other lovelies such as Siberian wallflower and blue flax. Don’t be afraid to throw bright colors together, because in this season it looks right. You need to decide by late winter where the wildflowers are going to go, and do some soil prep. They don’t need a lot of pampering, but to be lush and beautiful they do need some care and good soil. Plant very early, by March at the latest, water regularly, and keep the weeds out. Then, some morning in May, you will wander through your flowery meadow so filled with pleasure that you can hardly believe it, and at tedious meetings or in the dentist’s chair the image will still be there. Surely that’s worth a little sweat and compost.

Passing Pleasures: sage blossoms

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Sage is a useful culinary herb which loves our climate and grows with unbounded enthusiasm. My own specimen has been grown in a container for three years with no care or attention other than periodic watering and has reached 3 feet across and seeded itself around, providing a number of nice plants to give away. A major advantage to growing your own is that you can enjoy its lovely Delft-blue flowers, both in your yard and on your plate. The flowers also taste of sage, but the flavor is softer, sweeter, and more floral. They are lovely on salads. Pick them just before you use them, toss them on top of the dressed leaves, and enjoy. This is one of the ephemeral pleasures of the garden, to be enjoyed for a week or two and then let go. But, like most such pleasures, it makes an impression and leaves a memory of a pure and lovely thing enjoyed in its season.
You can buy a sage plant nearly anywhere. I suggest avoiding the variegated or variously-scented ones unless you have space to spare. Common culinary sage is the most useful in the kitchen.
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