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Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

daylilies, stomach aches, and tonglen

Hyperion

Hyperion

Today, I’m breathing for those of you with stomach aches. Somehow, that helps. Really. Tonglen is, perhaps, the best manifestation of compassion I know. Stomach hurts? Offer it up for all those folks who have REALLY bad problems w/ their stomaches: starvation, cancer, the big deal aches. Breathe in pain, breathe out peace. Repeat.

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Mine is just a small nag, so I distracted myself with garden dreams. In which my wonderful husband indulged me fully — buying me daylilies as an early Mother’s Day present! He bought me not the pale pink ones — which I bought myself (they’re Catherine Woodberry, very fragrant!) — but Hyperion, an old (also fragrant) type.

The first house we owned, I was a young and pretty ignorant gardener. Which is sooo unfortunate, because we moved in to a house w/ an amazing garden. I hadn’t learnt that you do NOT tear up anything for the first year you live somewhere, though, so I dug into naked lady bulbs (lycoris squamigera) with no idea what they were.

Catherine Woodberry

Catherine Woodberry

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She — although it might have been a ‘he'; I’m projecting my own many generations of women gardeners — had planted Hyperion daylilies — hundreds of them! — as a border on the back fence line. Easily 100 feet of daylilies, all marvelously sunny & fragrant. She’d also planted beautiful fragrant roses beneath the casement windows. And a pecan that was probably 70′ tall when we moved in.

What did I learn from this? Besides how much I love daylilies, especially Hyperion daylilies (which happen to be some of the most expensive of ALL daylilies)…? I learned to join the city garden club, for one thing. Except that when I went to join (the only way for a poor gardener to access great gardening books), the woman in charge said they didn’t really have any gardening clubs for someone my age… :)

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tonglen3I also learned that gardening is a waiting game, as much of my life seems to be. You need to take the long view (good practice, that). And that gardens are unpredictable, even if you have a plan carefully drawn out, and think you know what you’re doing.

Because here I am, decades later, still trying to figure out how to plant around what’s in a garden bed. A bed I planted myself! And I’m doing it with a stomach ache, at that. I’m sure there’s a new lesson to be gleaned from this, but right now? I’m just glad I have daylilies coming next week. If I’m lucky, they’ll bloom this summer! In the meantime, I’m breathing for you.

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