Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wishes and Horses

This is a photo of my friend, Teri, and her horse, Lucy.  Quite the beauties. 

My family had a little saying, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” This comment would come right after we begged for something my parents deemed frivolous. Apparently there was a lot of frivolous begging since I remember the phrase quite well.

I’ve begun receiving my first 2011 garden catalogs and boy-oh-boy I might be in the first phase towards that horse farm!

If you have internet, the on line catalogs are almost endless. I do enjoy a paper copy for probably the same reason I enjoy reading an actual newspaper. I have my specific spot on the couch and the right pillow. I put my feet up, have a cup of tea and read.

I come from a family of readers. Some less than gracious observers might call us a bit compulsive and obsessive about reading. We find it necessary to have at least two, often three, books going at the same time. We’ve a stack of catalogs or magazines near our favorite sitting areas. Our library card is always in our wallet and a gift certificate from our favorite bookstore is like honey to a bear.

I read my garden catalogs in several ways (this is the place where less than gracious observers feel confirmed). I do a once through just to get the general idea of what’s being pushed for the new year. Later, I get more specific and actually read about plants that strike my fancy.

On Sunday afternoons when I simply don’t want to do anything remotely productive, I’ll play the mind game of “If I would win a chance to have ten plants from this catalog, which ones would I choose.” Try it!

For a wealth of ideas and wishes, nothing beats a plant catalog received in the mail on these long cold winter days. We dream of starting a new bed with that new flower or bush. We could actually expand another fifty feet to the West and put in a row of trees. If we haul in a semi load of landscape rock, we could build that waterfall and dig a pond and stock it with koi and start a rose garden and – somebody less than gracious just told me to breath deep…sorry.

Wendell Berry said it best, “We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?” Obviously, Wendell was a gardener.

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