Cream-colored, with a Hint of Lime

Yesterday I decided to pay some attention to my much neglected garden. My gardenia bushes have been looking a little peaked. A trip to the garden shop, some greensand, some pine mulch. Once home, the garden hose and lots of water.

I took my spade and loosened the drought-packed earth. Water helped soften the soil so I could pull weeds. I worked my way from one end of the flower bed to the other. My gloves wet and muddy from the sodden soil.

The sky is a bright blue. The sun is beginning to hit hard but a breeze carries off some of the heat.

I half-kneel, keeping my knees out of mud. A flash of red has caught my eye. I lift some overgrowth and there, nestled under the shade of a gardenia bush is a wild strawberry plant.

I weed more carefully now, delicately pulling up spent dandelion stems. When I put down the pine straw, I work around the strawberries.

On the middle gardenia bush, a single gardenia blooms.

A Garden Grown Wild

This weekend I borrowed a room in which to write. I brought fruit and yogurt, which I placed in the frig. I plugged in a clock. I put a candle on the desk.

I looked around the room and then I went downstairs. I’d smelled jasmine on my way in. I found the vine climbing a tree near the house. I chose carefully, plucking, in the end, three stems of the small, white flowers. I do not take the lone, curling tendril whose backdrop is the smooth, honey-colored bark of the tree.

Looking around, I noticed a bucket filled with seashells and rainwater. I chose an open shell, its interior the color of sunsets at the beach, rinsed then filled it with rainwater. I lay the flower stems into the water and, looking around some more, found a river rock, just the right size, which would hold the stems in place.

Back upstairs, I walked the perimeter of the room, holding the shell and flowers in one hand and with the other, fanning the fragrance of the flowers up to my nose.

I spent the evening at my computer, candle burning to my right, flowers and shell to my left. The desk faces a bank of windows. It is a sign of the lengthening days that it was light until after eight o’clock.

When I leave, early the next morning, the air outside is cool, and smelling of jasmine.