gardening and cancer

June 23, 2011


yes, i know.  it’s so beautiful in my little brooklyn backyard.  from the wet, muddy pit that it was about 22 years ago when i first moved in to the beautiful quirky yard filled with roses, basil and burgeoning tomatoes and cucumbers not to mention overgrown patches of irises – my backyard is our own little oasis.  when i was just out of treatment – 5 years ago this summer – i wasn’t up for much.  i remember walking down the street in park slope, brooklyn near my work, and seeing a beautiful flowering vine.  it wasn’t clematis…which are vines i have many of against the fences.  i bought it immediately and sometime in the next week, planted it near the foot of my climbing yellow roses.   i don’t remember much of that summer but i remember sitting on the back rocker just watching my garden and thinking that so few people took the time to sit in their garden.   late that fall, i finally looked up the vine that i planted and, much to my horror, found out that the red trumpet vine that i had purchased and planted was deemed to be one of the most invasive vines around…it would take over and strangle all else.  without a moment’s hesitation, i went to my yard, dug up the vine, and discarded it. 

last week, i took time out from a busy work schedule to delay heading into the office – i gave myself an hour in the cool morning to get down on my knees and really focus on weeding out a patch of the garden.  one by one i plucked out the usual offenders…the rain had made them easy to grab so that their roots came out – giving me hope that i was winning the weeding game.  then i looked over and stared.  there it was.  at the foot of the yellow climbing roses…the telltale green vine that said that my excavation 4.5 years earlier was a fool’s errand.  invasive vine.  it seemed the very definition of invasive.  it was still there.  and growing.  and probably spreading.  and i started crying.  in my own garden.  a cruel reminder that you never know that what you think has been taken out of  you isn’t still growing.  i hate cancer.   i’ve gone back into my garden … but it took a few days.  i hate cancer. 



best laid plans of …

May 25, 2009


me and me…oh well.  whatever the creeping crud was that hit teenage daughter and husband caught up with me.  husband got the brunt of it…suffered with fever for 3 days then gallantly played his gig last night.  i have simply been an onslaught of dripping down the back of my throat and itchy ears.  i shouldn’t be surpised…hearing about so many people with variations on a theme. 

on the good side:  spent much of the past 2 days in my garden.  i’d put in a few cukes then feel dizzy and sit in the shade.  repeat repeat repeat.  basil, tomatoes; cukes; hot peppers.  most everything is planted and i acknowledge that i have too many vining plants.  i love the look of things spilling over the sides of containers.  sweet peas; ivy geranium; baby petunias, becopa, thyme and oregano.  that’s not to mention the many clematis vines all growing on trellises.  the climbing yellow roses are bursting with an almost obscene push.  the irises just pour scent through the back corner of my little brooklyn garden.  i added new coreopsis – last year’s didn’t survive and i adore coreopsis..those yellow flowers seem so cheery and add a good dose of yellow to my very blue and purple-laden garden. 

so no bbq.  no guests.  but some nice quiet time in my house and garden that i haven’t had in a while.  not such a bad thing.  now if the ringing in my ears would just stop….


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