Wednesday, April 9, 2008

April, Zen, Bliss

It was sunny today and around 14 C so I decided to soak up some much needed sunshine and unwind from all the stress I've had lately. It did me a lot of good just to be in the garden today, perhaps not doing very much; just pottering about, but enjoying myself a lot nevertheless.
Contrary to what I wrote before everything didn't go so well for my mother and it is only since last Sunday that she is in MC. It all looked OK at first but then suddenly everything went from bad to worse. All in all she spend 8 days in ICU, had an emergency bypass op and some complications later on. Fortunately when I visited her yesterday she seemed to have turned a corner and was much improved, both physically and mentally which came as a great relief.
So today I was in dire need of the Zen of gardening. Luckily I have a few furry helpers who are very much into Zen and mindfulness, not to mention masters of yoga too. OHM, OHM translates to purrr, purrr in cat speak, but those who really listen do get the message our furry friends are sending us.
Here's Byron Vita, a master of being *in the moment*, living in the now, free from the tyranny of thought.
Surprise is another guru in the art of living; her enjoyment of life seems boundless. It's hard not to relax with all those Zen masters around me chanting purrrOHM, purrrOHM!

But woman isn't spirit alone, the body also needs some pampering so I went into my kitchen garden to see if there was some food available to heal my body.
The lettuces I'd sown a couple of weeks ago weren't ready yet but some of the radishes were.
I've sown them in a cold frame so they are nice and snug during the night when it is cold. We've had 3 nights of frost so far but the plants in the cold frames are doing fine.
I picked a few radishes even though they were not very big yet, but that doesn't matter as they taste so very good, freshly harvested from the garden. I also picked some watercress from my greenhouse and went inside to make myself some tasty open sandwiches with it. I know that many people have radishes in salads but I prefer eating them on a slice of bread, smeared with butter and sprinkled with some sea salt. Tasty, healthy and very low in calories, what more could a body ask for? On the other slice of bread I spread some soft goat's cheese with watercress and freshly milled black pepper on top. Scrumptious!
After lunch I did the Tour and looked at every plant in my garden, however small it might be. It's amazing how green and lush the garden is all of a sudden and how many blooms are there to be enjoyed in early April.
Some pink and blue forget-me-nots I transplanted a few weeks ago, are just starting to flower.
Pulsatilla is doing great too, such a wonderful plant to have in the garden as it flowers so early with such beautiful flowers.
In the front garden many tulips are in flower, all smiling and dancing in the light breeze.
I love the gorgeous spring green frock my front garden is wearing now. It is the most tender of greens to grace this earth of ours. It's good to be a gardener as our gardens contain so much to lift our spirit, calm our nerves and sooth all that needs to be soothed. And if you put a kittycat or two into the mixture, well then you have utter bliss!
There, all healed now; body, mind and soul.

copyright 2008 Y.E.W. Heuzen
Love of flowers and all things green and growing is with many men and women a passion so strong that it often seems to be a sort of primal instinct, coming down through generation after generation.
Helena Rutherfurd Ely, A Woman's Hardy Garden, 1903


Barbara said...

Lovely post! And you're so right, gardening is the best remedy for soul and body! Hope your mother gets well every day a bit more! All the best wishes to her (and to you too of course, as you suffered with her!).
Enjoy Spring!

Karin A said...

Sounds like you (and your mother) have had some though days. I'm glad to hear she's getting better again.

Nice to see that you have spring now. When I woke up this morning it was snow out-side. I can't wait for better weather to come. Can't believe you already have radishes. Great! Love you photos and your spring flowers. The Pulsatilla is really a nice spring plant! Take care and my thoughts are with you.

Kram Karin

Cheryl said...

I love that post Yolanda. I hope and pray that your mother has now turned the corner and she will go from strength to strength.

I to use my garden and my animals to refresh body, mind and most of all soul.

Your lunch looked good, we even eat alike.

Love pulsatilla to, can't grow them here, the rabbits are far too fond of them.

We have had heavy frosts here, and it has left a lot of damage. A gardeners life is full of ups and downs, but hey that is what it is all about, isn't it??

Nancy J. Bond said...

Lovely post -- it's nice that you have so much, er, help in the garden. :) It was very nice here today as well. Your gardens look like they're certainly thriving.

Anonymous said...

I love cat-math :-) Cats + garden = bliss. Cats + fireplace = cozy. cats + string = entertainment. And so on! Glad your mother is doing better. I hope she continues with no further complications!

Andrea's Garden said...

Hello, I am sorry that your mom has not been doing well lately. I can only imagine how difficult this time has been for you. It is good that you can find your Ommm in the garden and gain some strength. Take good care, Andrea

Gail said...

lovely post, thank you for sharing your Zen moment with was a beautiful day in the garden.

Glad also to hear that your mother has turned the corner.


The Garden Faerie said...

What a beautiful garden and cat menagerie you have! I visited Holland a few years ago and loved it. :)
~ Monica who once created a garden for cats at a no-kill cat shelter

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yolanda I am so glad you have such a beautiful place to go to collect yourself. Your Zen managers are a great help there too. Do keep in mind there are lots of postive thoughts and many prayers for you and your Mother at this time.

Ewa said...

Great post and thank you for letting us into your life. I love the way you wrote about soothering influence of the garden. This is it! I feel it so similar - you share it in such way, that even non-gardener could understand, what is gardening about.
Your Mom is doing better I understand - we send all positive thoughts to her.

Tracy said...

Ah, some very zen still life moments here...lovely! Happy Day to you & the Team, Yolanda! ((HUGS))

guild-rez said...

Thank you for your comments and greetings from your Bliss team to our Maxi - El Presidente II.
* Yes, Jeannie surprised me with lovely gifts, she is a wonderful blogger friend. It all started with a discussion over Poison Ivy she has in her garden.
* The new camera is a master piece of technology and needs time to be studied and how to be used.


Wonderful great post Yolanda..

When I see
Heaven and earth as
My own garden,
I live that moment
Outside the Universe.
(Japanese Folk Zen Sayings).

Have a wonderful week and be happy.

-Cheers Gisela

Betty said...

So sorry your Mom has been unwell but pray she's on the road to complete recovery....

Enjoyed walking around your garden...your lunch looked delicious....what time are we eating today?

Thanks for visiting with me. I, too, was elated to find my earrings....Betty

Annie in Austin said...

Thank heavens we have our gardens for both body and spirit! May your mother continue to improve, Yolanda. Did your mother teach you about radishes on bread when you were a child? Our radishes aren't quite ready to harvest but I'm planning on copying your menu idea ;-]

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Flighty said...

Reading, and looking at, this wonderful entry I could feel myself relaxing! Thanks! xx

lenie said...

knap hoor dat je je zo kan ontspannen in de tuin , nu je moeder ziek is . ik ken dat heb hetzelfde ....en als ik je tuin zie ...weet ik nu ..dit weekend ga ik mijn tuin in ..moet nog zoveel doen ..heb al die tijd een klus in het atelier gedaan ..jaha ook met dat mooie weer , maar is nu klaar dus ik ga de tuin in ;)))
meis groetjes en hopen dat het beter blijft gaan met moeders ;)

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I hope your mom continues to improve.
The garden is indeed a respite for the body, mind and soul.

Green thumb said...

Hi dear Yolanda,
Last few days must have been an emotional see-saw for you.
I am glad your Mother has improved; May she continue to do so and be hale and hearty very soon.
Sunshine must do wonders to a sombre mood. Nice sunny weather, furry friends and a dash of gardening - perfect recipe to fight off the blues.

Naturegirl said...

Yolanda I am happy to hear that the stress with having an ailing parent has eased somewhat. Sending your mother healing engery!

Nothing like a garden to ease the stress and add a few purr.r.r. friends how can we not heal our spirit! I suppose with our peacefilled posts we recognize the need to just be and enjoy the silence of the day. hugs to you purzzzzzzzzz to the Bliss team! aNNa

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

You are so talented, you can make a sandwich look like a work of art! I'm glad you were able to get out in the garden for a little soul work. There's really nothing like it. Here's wishing your mom a speedy recovery.

Lis said...

Oh, du hast schon Radieschen? Das finde ich toll, nur ohne Gewächshaus werde ich wohl noch eine Weile warten müssen bis ich welche ernten kann.
Wir haben hier grauenhaftes Wetter, nur regen, Regen und nochmals...... :-(
Alles guten Wünsche für deine Mutter und gute Besserung!
LG Lis

Felicia said...

Love the kitties in the garden :)

stadtgarten said...

Don't tell me that all those pictures are from the last days! It looks absolutely like spring!!! Here winter has come back and it is not so nice outside.
I hope your mother will be better soon!
Groetjes, Monika

Frances, said...

Yolanda, we did think your mother was doing well and did not know otherwise. Now we will hold her in our thoughts to get her and you through any difficult times ahead. The purromm is vibrating your troubles away for the moment while you carefully give attention to each plant. Our radishes are almost ready, thanks for the tip about the sandwich, we only ever put them is salads.

Amy said...

Just reading this post and looking at the pictures of your garden was a a breath of fresh air to me after a week of sickness. I hope that your mother continues to improve day by day.

Hillside Garden said...

Hi, deine Salate sehen schon prächtig aus, auf meinem Hochbeet habe ich auch welche gesetzt, aber nicht selber ausgesät.

Schönes Wochenende!


Entangled said...

Yolanda, I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's health problems (I only just now read the first post from April 1), but glad to read that she's doing better now. My father had bypass surgery 16 years ago - very traumatic at the time, but he's in fairly good health now. I hope your mother soon recovers completely.

But the radishes look great! I'm going to pull the last of the French Breakfast radishes from the cold frame today and plant more outdoors.

Curtis said...

Your radishes look yummy. I can hardly wait till mine are big enough to munch.

chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about your mom but I'm glad to hear she seems to have turned a corner. Cherish the times you have with her.

There is only one thing more healing than gardening and that is gardening with furry creatures. My dogs sit with me when I'm in the garden and I always feel so safe and loved.

Your garden is beautifully blissful and your sandwich looks yummy.

Happy garden therapy.

Rosehaven Cottage said...

Kitties ARE the best de-stressors! I'm sorry to hear that life has been so stressful for you as of late. But as you wrote, the best way to relieve it is to pet your kitties or stroll with them in the garden. Your kitchen garden is so lovely!

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Kylee said...

I totally agree, Yolanda. I've started the walk-throughs here also. Each time, I see new growth and that always makes me smile. Gardening is such therapy, such good therapy.

Glad to hear your mom is doing better!

Piondröm said...

Yolanda,You have already summer!!
And I can see that your cat loves it to.
Regards Ken

Birgit said...

Bei Dir hat das Gartenjahr ja wirklich schon voll begonnen, Yolanda. Sonne, erste Ernten, Blüten und der Garten sieht schon so schön aus.

Eure Pelznasen scheinen den Frühling auch schon voll zu genießen im Garten.

Hier bei uns sieht die Welt leider noch etwas anders aus. Regen und Kälte. Macht einfach keinen Spaß draußen. Dabei muss ich so dringend etwas tun.

Ich wünsche Dir, dass der Frühling bleibt und Ihr Euch an ihm erfreuen könnt.

Schönes Wochenende und liebe Grüße, Birgit

Layanee said...

YE: So glad you had a much needed garden therapy day with your furry friends! For some reason your comments are not showing on my blog but are showing in my stats page. Thank you for your good wishes. I am excited that you are having such good luck with your cold frame. I am using mine for hardening off and heating the soil! What fun!

Fork'nMonkeyInc. said...

You have been nominated for a Fork 'n Monkey Award.
Visit and Vote here.

Ruth Welter said...

Yolanda, your garden is looking gorgeous!! Isn't it true though...being outside, working a little in the dirt, even taking pretty pictures of what is sprouting up, an make you feel so renewed. Enjoy your weekend in the garden.

Marian said...

Fijn dat het met je moeder de goede kant uitgaat Yolanda!
De lente is nu goed te zien buiten, alles gaat nu in hoog tempo uitlopen en bloeien en zeker met het zonnetje erbij is het volop genieten!
Je katjes genieten ook zichtbaar van de "lenteluchtjes" in de tuin,
Wij hebben vandaag ons kattenpaviljoen ook weer ingericht en als onze jongste weer helemaal opgeknapt is, kunnen ze ook weer eens naar buiten.
Lekker brood met radijsjes en een beetje zout, dat vind ik nou typisch mooi-weer-eten!
Het begint steeds meer tuinweer te worden, jammer dat een mens maar een ding tegelijk kan hè?
fijn weekend, groetjes, Marian

Anita said...

Dear Yolanda!

Oh, seeing your April garden is like eyecandy, I really enjoyed the tour (after my too long absence on your blog)! I hope you are doing fine! I took a kind of gardening blogging break during the past few (cold) months and was more concentrating on beeing creative, sewing, stitching!

I am so glad that we are heading towards sommer now! We spent the wohle day out in the garden and enjoyed the sunny weather! I sowed my first veggies and can't wait to see them sprouting soon! Oh, and my rubhard already reached the top of the forcer! I need to harvest it soon! Did you already harvest yours? I spotted your forcer between all the green on one of the pictures!

Happy gardening and enjoy your week-end!

Groetjes uit Duitsland!


Gourav said...

Awesome write up!!! I am too great fan of gardening and is always looking for good tips. Here i also want to share my findngs about This is just a perfect site with all answers to gardening. You should check this out.

Get amazing tips from this site and enjoy gardening!!!!

Anja said...

Wat een ontzettend leuk geschreven stukje. T was van de week echt heerlijk in de tuin, maar toen het eenmaal zover was heb ik ook veel in mijn hangmatje gespijbeld ;-) maar gelukkig ook nog wel wat werk verzet. Moet gauw weer een tuinupdate op mn blog zetten.

Ik hoop dat het "goed gaan" door zal zetten bij je moeder, zodat jullie allemaal weer wat prettiger kunnen ademhalen en ze weer opknapt.

Groetjes, Anja

Ex-Shammickite said...

Your garden pictures are very encouraging.... my snow has just melted and we have had lots of rain, so my poor grass is under water right now! My daffoidils are just peeking out of the ground so I will have some beautiful colour in the garden very soon!

Rose said...

What a beautiful garden! When I was young, we used to eat radish sandwiches for a snack; I've never met anyone else who ate them!Seeing your photo reminded me how tasty and crunchy they were.
Wishing your mother a speedy and complete recuperation.

Ki said...

Good to read and see you and your cats enjoying the sunshine. I hope all's well with your mom. Is that a flowering cherry tree in the background in the first photo? Lovely tree. I'm amazed your pulsatilla is already blooming. It is such a lovely plant.

Carol said...

Yes, a good garden like Bliss heals our souls, quiets our minds, and provides nourishment when we need it. I hope your mother continues to improve and your garden continues to give you that zen feeling.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Surya said...

I hope your mother will be fine.

I agree with you that gardening can make our body and soul relax.

I'd like to try your fresh radishes sandwich. Must be great!

Matron said...

Just pottering about is what I do best in the garden! It is imperative to give yourself time just to mooch around, mill about, schlep, slouch.. whatever you call it.

Pam/Digging said...

Yolanda, gardens really do have an amazing power to heal, don't they? I'm glad that yours helped you to mend physically and emotionally. Best wishes.