Arbors, Porch Swings, and My Gardening Summer

I should not be looking at arbors and gazebos online. There are so many more urgent and important purchases for us to make. We’re in the fat part of our income cycle, but another lean time is ahead and our surviving it depends upon me being wise now. Buying an arbor does not count as wise, no matter how lovely it would look underneath my wisteria vines. It doesn’t help that our wireless extends out into the garden so I can browse while surrounded by my green things and the scent of oriental lilies. I book mark the arbors and gazebos, knowing that two years from now I’ll delete the bookmarks without having visited them in between. I can hope that by then I will already have an arbor, purchased locally on sale.

Porch swings are less expensive than arbors or gazebos. I look at those for awhile too. I would not place it on my porch, which is too narrow, but I could hang it from the swing set on those evenings when my kids do not want to swing. It would be lovely to have a place to sit outdoors. I have those plastic stackable chairs, but they never were comfortable and have developed a permanent layer of filth from residing outdoors, year round, for eight years. I bookmark a lovely wrought iron swing with a flower pattern.

It is strange having these gardening dreams. They sprang forth from dormancy like flower bulbs discovering the earth around them is not frozen anymore. I love letting them grow even though I know that it may make the coming winter, both literal and figurative, harder on me. I still have time, three months before outdoors becomes inhospitable and I have to look inside for projects to dream. Or perhaps the opposite will be true. Perhaps hours outdoors now are filling my reservoirs, giving me reserves through the cold and dark. That is a lovely thought. It encourages me to sit and soak up the feel of grass under my feet, to smell the lilies and mimosa, to push back the grape leaves and see how many bunches of baby grapes I can find.

My neighbors are gathered outside. It is not an official event, we all just wandered out into the pleasant evening and discovered each other there. I listen to them talk. Their summers are busy, filled with going places. We’ve been at home this summer instead of running around. Ours has been the busy-ness of at-home routine rather than events and adventures. I think we needed this. It let us grow in calm and quiet ways, like the plants in my garden.

We are now entering that portion of the summer which I thought would be crazy stressful. It is busy and there are definitely elements of stress. Then I step outside and wander or work in my garden. I clear out overgrowth or pull weeds. I feel the living air blow around my face and I feel the dirt with my fingers. Sometimes I get hot and sweaty with this work, that is part of it and I don’t mind. Working with plants, my mind lets go of my lists and stresses. I stop clutching them so tightly and some of them slip away completely, not important after all. The garden is good for me and I seek more reasons to be outside in it, which is why I research arbors and porch swings even though I know I will not buy them today. It gives me hope that perhaps next summer will also be a season with gardening.