Monday, September 26, 2011

Vinalia Rustia

The joy of gardening came late to my life. My mother gardened – vegetables and flowers. I weeded. As a little kid, my first job involved pulling the weeds that grew up in the crushed stone driveway at our house. My mom didn’t trust me to pull weeds in the vegetable garden. Even in my daydreaming state I couldn’t mistake a white stone for a weed.

It wasn’t until I was an adult with my own home and lots of yard that I discovered the desire to garden. My mother tutored me and gave me many of her plants. She mentored, I weeded. Some things never change.

I thought of populating the garden with dainty wind chimes and whimsical fairies and angels. I searched for a garden muse that would welcome visitors to my garden.

Venus the major deity of love and beauty, started as a goddess of gardens and vineyards. August 19 was the “Rural Festival of the Vine” which celebrated the harvest. The feast was held to ask Jupiter to not send storms, hail or heavy rains or floods before the grapes could ripen and be harvested. Venus was honored during the festival as goddess of vegetation and gardens.

Before I could find the appropriate statuary to pay homage to my muse, the rains came, then the heat, then the mosquitoes, then the WEEDS. Gone was my dainty, pristine garden. Graceful was out. At the entrance to my mature garden, under the peony bush, stands a plucky gnome named Arthur.

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