Monday, April 6, 2009

Green Gulch Farm

A while ago I posted a quote from Joe Eck's ELEMENTS OF GARDEN DESIGN, a statement abut gardening that could be read as a comment on the writer's art. Here's another of those, from Wendy Johnson's terrific GARDENING AT THE DRAGON'S GATE: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World. Johnson gardens in a valley in Marin County, at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center. Her book is wonderfully balanced between good advice (the "down to earth") and meditation on the soul of the gardener's work (which is also down to earth, in the deepest sense). Anyway:

"The primary work of every gardener is to stay alert and playful within the heft and heart of your soil. In this way garden and gardener culture each other, well inoculated with surprise."

And this is my favorite passage, thus far:

"By Halloween on the north coast of California all the cover crop for the winter season and the tulips and narcissus, the frittilaria, and bloodred regal lily bulbs of spring must be planted. The hatchet falls on All Hallows' Eve, for after October 31 it is too late to plant. This is also the season of Dia de los Muertos -- or the Day of the Dead, that day standing between Indian summer and black-eyed winter when the veil between worlds thins out and the gardeners are called home to sleep in the long throat of rot."

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