It is all too obvious to the few of you who read it, that I have sorely neglected my blog. I am rethinking my writing goals and my schedule in general. So perhaps I will post something once a month, at least for a while.

Here are a few excerpts from some writing I am working on these days, trying to capture the look and feel of the garden, month by month. These are from September’s notes:

John put a reclining chair with cushions on the lawn for me and encouraged me to rest. For an hour or two, I will be like Walt Whitman. I will loaf and invite my soul and observe a spear of grass. I’m also observing the many birds that have arrived on the lawn and in the trees: cardinal, robin, goldfinch, crow. A nuthatch is checking out the bag worms in the hickory. I see a chickadee and a titmouse. Our hill is a convenient stop for supplies on the way south. All I can hear are crickets and birds and the muffled roar of traffic in the distance. The air is sweet and soft this morning, with a breeze that brings whiffs of leaves still wet from dew but warming up in the early sunshine. A few clouds laze around overhead. Patches of light and shadow move slowly across the lawn, then over the roses and across the east wall of the house. Looking north, I see that the valley is all in sun. A squirrel is creeping around near the hosta, its mouth full of acorns. As I watch, it finds a good spot under an azalea to bury some.

On a walk up the hill through our woods yesterday, I came upon a young buck. He couldn’t decide how to react to my sudden appearance. We both stood still for a few seconds, staring at each other. I asked him where he would like to go. After a few seconds more, he turned away and walked toward the greenhouse, then, with two small leaps, he headed down into the orchard and meadow. He was small, lean and strong, beautiful to watch. From the woods I walked into the potager and surveyed the mess: The beds on the west side are now crowded with squash vines. The paths between the beds are full of morning glory vines and weeds. I tell myself every spring to be vigilant and remove any morning glory seedlings that appear. But every year I ignore my own good advice or cannot manage it, time-and energy-wise, and now the morning glory vines are in control of most of the potager. The netting that was the support for the sugar snap peas is now a screen of morning glory vines. At least the flowers are pretty. I am surprised each year by the colors and size of blossoms these vines produce, since they are offspring of a hybrid, Heavenly Blue. I see tiny red ones, lots of pink and purple and a few blue ones, and one white one with pale blue stripes. On the east side of the potager, the one thin row of nasturtiums I planted has become a sea of round, flat leaves with orange and yellow and red blooms peeking out from between the leaves.

I ignored the mess around me and picked a bunch of nasturtiums to put on the kitchen windowsill so I can inhale their perfume as I do dishes. I headed back to the house, taking cuttings along the way, of basil, geranium, begonia, impatiens, and coleus, a few of each kind. I put the cuttings in glasses filled with water and placed them on the windowsill in the Sunrise Room, as our granddaughter Isabelle has named it. The cuttings will root and grow and give me some decorations for the dining room windowsills. And the ones that survive the winter will go in next year’s garden.