Posts Tagged ‘shari’

Still waiting on Bella…

Here are some recent pictures to enjoy while we continue to wait for Bella’s babies to make their debut.

Miss Morgan gets up close and personal

Double delight rose

Broody Hens

Delicious artichokes!

Reno, Shari's horse that we love

Shari's garden is full of whimsical touches like this

A Horse’s Spell

While we were over at Shari’s house the other evening, she had to get busy in her aviary putting some of her birds away before the sun went down and the tempeture dropped. She asked me if I could go down to the barn and put a blanket on their horse. Reno is a quarterhorse gelding, and is by far one of the most beautiful horses I have been around in a long time. He is the epitomy of every young girl’s dream horse. Standing at the better part of sixteen hands high, he is a golden palomino, the color of a jar of honey with the sun shining through it, with a cream colored mane and a tail that hangs all the way to the ground. You know, he looks just like the horse our Barbie’s owned. He is placid almost to the point of sleepiness and very people-oriented.

I ducked in between the boards of the paddock and found the blanket thrown over one of the rails. Reno was plodding over to me from the barn at this point, wondering what I was doing in his space. When he was close enough, I softly blew into his nostrils to identify myself to him. He stopped and stood still and dropped his head to watch me with gentle regard as I tossed the blanket over his tall back and moved to his chest to start work on the fasteners in the front. He began to investigate my face and hair with his lips as I worked the buckles. Then he did not move one bit as I walked all around him to work the leg straps and then the belly buckle. As I came back around to his front he rubbed his head across my chest and slobbered on my shirt in approval. I found that little sweet tickle spot in the center of his chest and gave him a good scratch there with my fingernails. His head bobbed up and down in reaction to this, and his upper lip twitched uncontrollably. I put my arms around his neck and inhaled the warm sweet horse smell of him. It took me right back to a place in time decades ago, when I was lucky enough to love a horse of my own.

I had a blood bay hackney/welch cross mare and our relationship lasted from the time I was 14 years old until I was 35. Every one of my teenage years, I can remember climing up on her back the first day of summer vacation and not coming down until someone pulled me back down off of her because I had to go back to school. It was a great way for me to spend my impressionable teenage years. While a lot of my peers were getting into the fast lane of chasing boys or wanting cars, I was growing up strong and slow with a very different perspective of the world that one can only see from the back of a horse. In fact, I went through many seasons of my life with her, my ups and downs, my marriage and the birth of my kids, the breakup of my marriage. I lost and gained friends, was employed and not, but she remained the constaint in my life. I will always live with the conviction that “the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a person”. In her last years she had Cushing’s Disease, which took its toll. I finally had to have her put down in her 26th year. I had owned her 21 of those years. I felt I had lost a large part of myself when I lost her on that cold day in November, but in the end she died just as she had lived, with me holding on to her.

For the Roses

Joseph's Coat climbing rose

Yesterday evening I took my good friend (who also happens to be my tenant) Christy, and we went up the road and across the creek to our friend Shari’s house. Shari is a wonderful, albeit fairly new friend of ours. We have only known her for just about a year, but love her already as though we have know her all our lives.

Shari has very beautiful and well-established old rose gardens and has spent many an hour coaxing their beauty to its full potential. Shari can call her roses all by name, and even describe the flowers and scent in detail even when the plants are dormant. Her landhold is much larger then the front garden of this farm (where I have most of my roses) and her gardens and planting are more extensive and open. Her gardens also many container plantings, whimsical touches and many colorful birds. I will never get tired of visiting with her and looking at them. She always blesses us with a car load of new things to plant and handfuls of cuttings from her roses. Oddly enough, Shari does have an old and deep connection to the front garden of our farm, and has spent much time here in the past, so I guess that somehow makes her family already. The whim of fate would have it that she was a good friend of Natalie, the tenant who rented this farm for many years before I owned it. She and Natalie, I have heard tell, spent a lot of time being “partners in crime” at all the nurseries in town.

Natalie grew a rose garden here. Not only did she grow them, but she was one of those crazy “rose people” who could actually cross-breed them and make new colors.I bow down in awe and respect of people who can do this. I’m good with plants, and have even been accused of possessing a “green thumb” by some, but I’m not so good as to be able to create new colors and types. Natalie could take a brown twig and stick it into a pot of dirt, and I swear it would start to sprout roots while she carried it into the house! The garden she had in the front of this farm was so astounding, people would actually pull over and stop and get out of their cars and stand and stare at it. I have an old photo of it in it’s full glory that I pull out and look at whenever I want to shame myself into getting the front garden in shape every spring – “see what it USED looked like when SHE was here!”- I tell myself. It was what you call a classic “cottage garden” with mostly old English and musk type roses, and completely run wild with thousands of other types of beautiful flowers. It was a riot of colors and textures, and although it seemed random, I know Natalie knew exactly where each and every plant was placed and what the outcome of the planting would be. She was an artist, and flowering plants were her living palette. To this day I whisper a silent thank-you to her for leaving the soil in the garden in such good condition, it has remained this way for this many years because of her hard work and knowledge. To my amazement, the soil even held up to the “tenant from hell” who occupied the house for four years after Natalie, and who let two large unruly shepherd crosses “landscape” for him in the front yard. It took me two solid weeks just to fill in all the holes when I first got here. So needless to say I had to start the garden all over again from scratch, and spent the last five years just getting the “bones” down of my own design and waiting for it to establish itself.

I always had it in my mind that roses were a very difficult things to grow and care for. I was never brave enough to even try until I met Natalie. She assured me that the only real trick to growing roses, just like anything else living that you want to work with, was just to get some, love them, and that they would teach me just exactly what they wanted from me. I have since bought a cloner and learned how to use it, and now have a small collection of my own favorites (that grows larger every year.) I even happily surprised myself at one point the first time I recognized a rose I was familiar with in someone else’s garden. I like to think that at that same moment in time – somewhere out there whereever she is – Natalie looked up and smiled, and did not even know why.