The Manic Gardener

frenzied plotting

Did this yesterday. Salvia, lantana, verbena and mountain laurel. Someday, it will be a Texas native paradise. Adding on next weekend…society garlic and blue salvia. In the background you can see the horse herb creeping in. Yay!

Wendell Berry [On Being] – The Contrariness of the Mad Farmer (949 plays)


"I'm a happy woman" thanks to conservation agriculture in Malawi

Happy Earth Day y’all. Here’s Wendell Berry reading “The Contrariness of the Mad Farmer” for our podcast production of “The Poetry of Creatures.” Share and reblog with your friends!

I am done with apologies. If contrariness is my
inheritance and destiny, so be it. If it is my mission
to go in at exits and come out at entrances, so be it.
I have planted by the stars in defiance of the experts,
and tilled somewhat by incantation and by singing,
and reaped, as I knew, by luck and Heaven’s favor,
in spite of the best advice. If I have been caught
so often laughing at funerals, that was because
I knew the dead were already slipping away,
preparing a comeback, and can I help it?
And if at weddings I have gritted and gnashed
my teeth, it was because I knew where the bridegroom
had sunk his manhood, and knew it would not
be resurrected by a piece of cake. ‘Dance,’ they told me,
and I stood still, and while they stood
quiet in line at the gate of the Kingdom, I danced.
‘Pray,’ they said, and I laughed, covering myself
in the earth’s brightnesses, and then stole off gray
into the midst of a revel, and prayed like an orphan.
When they said, ‘I know my Redeemer liveth,’
I told them, ‘He’s dead.’ And when they told me
‘God is dead,’ I answered, ‘He goes fishing ever day
in the Kentucky River. I see Him often.’
When they asked me would I like to contribute
I said no, and when they had collected
more than they needed, I gave them as much as I had.
When they asked me to join them I wouldn’t,
and then went off by myself and did more
than they would have asked. ‘Well, then,’ they said
‘go and organize the International Brotherhood
of Contraries,’ and I said, ‘Did you finish killing
everybody who was against peace?’ So be it.
Going against men, I have heard at times a deep harmony
thrumming in the mixture, and when they ask me what
I say I don’t know. It is not the only or the easiest
way to come to the truth. It is one way.

From EB:
St. Francis And The SowThe budstands for all things,even those things that don’t flower,for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;though sometimes it is necessaryto reteach a thing its loveliness,to put a hand on its browof the flowerand retell it in words and in touchit is lovelyuntil it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;as St. Francisput his hand on the creased foreheadof the sow, and told her in words and in touchblessings of earth on the sow, and the sowbegan remembering all down her thick length,from the earthen snout all the waythrough the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl ofthe tail,from the hard spininess spiked out from the spinedown through the great broken heartto the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shudderingfrom the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths suckingand blowing beneath them:the long, perfect loveliness of sow. Galway Kinnell

From EB:

St. Francis And The Sow

The bud
stands for all things,
even those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as St. Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of
the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking
and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow. 
Galway Kinnell

The gardener learns nothing when his carrots thrive, unless that success is won against a background of prior disapointment. Outright success is dumb, disaster frequently eloquent. At least to the gardener who learns how to listen.

Michael Pollen, “Second Nature”, pp 121

I needed to read this.

(via littlevagrancies)

(via balancingegoasaleo)

When I’m trying to explain to people what I think is grand and noble about movement, I say that the reason it is our most valuable connector as human beings is because that person onstage, who has a body similar to ours, is using that body in proxy for us. That kind of transference and connection is a very poetic way of saying something that I think the doctor’s given his life to understanding: how an idea about movement can actually be felt. This fact is the way that I’ve been able to deal with issues of identity. And the making of art, the sharing of it, is in some ways — healing sounds way too sentimental — but it bridges the gap between individuals. When I read some of Dr. Sacks’s meditations on how the brain works, in a way he demystifies these things that I have a feeling about. But in another way he encourages me to look with more courage at the physical world.

Bill T. Jones~Bill T. Jones

Identity. Just another one of the paths we can take when we finally orchestrate an interview with the great choreographer for On Being. Oh, and we will do so one day. *smile*

(via trentgilliss)

(via beingblog)

The past three weeks

I find myself intrigued with horseherb.


It’s a lovely replacement for lawn grass


and is a Texas native. Though it’s not terribly foot-traffic friendly, it quite makes up for this fact by being a very happy bright green, soft and dense ground cover despite drought and shade and Texas sun and bad soil…

It’s all over my yard, in little clumps, and now that I’ve liberated the yard of  the blizzard and slush of the oak leaves, maybe the clumps will flourish and spread


Did some perennial planting this weekend…Blackfoot daisies in the Death Strip near the street. Some red yuccas. Salvia. No resources really to wait to do it right, so we did the best we could, putting the toughest plants we could find in what will be harsh summer sun and hope for the best…

Yeah, that’s H in a skirt and rain boots.


Also took down an extraneous fence in our backyard that hid a section of the yard (which is magically cleaned up, now that it’s exposed), which I have to admit was more difficult than I bargained for…


The fence itself being relatively easy, but the posts…argh…that’s H looking dubious of her brother’s tactics, or, more likely, thinking that she could do it better:


Meanwhile, D was in a concert…


H was in a concert…


H took up origami



And poor, sweet, wonderful, funny much beloved Wilbert passed away…


He is missed.