Part One: Spring Garden Preview
It’s May. The birds greeted you, just as they always do, the way that only they can do when you step out of your car in the parking lot. You’re walking down the long, winding hill to Lucille’s Garden, too excited by the cool, damp, bright morning sun to yet think of the arduous trek back up.
The salmon pink buckeye blossoms reach out towards the terracotta classroom from this angle. They are the colors of a bold morning, or a shepherd’s warning—or a sailor for that matter. But not here. Here your only, far subtler warning is that of beauty and its ephemerality—a moment, a palette, that will erase from our sightline in a few weeks’ time.
We’ve waited all winter for these vivid moments. First, come. See the garden. Smell it. Touch it—gently. Feel it.
The garden gate latch glides right up, and you take your first crunchy footstep. Those rocks look so warmed by the sun that you’ll want to take your shoes off for a little foot rub—au naturel. Your head lifts to follow the course of the golden pea tendrils, climbing their way up the woody trellis. Then it hits you—the saccharine perfume of the sweet peas who embraced you as you came in. They reveal their delicate, silky, smooth faces with faint hues of blush, looking freshly all done up. The scrim of the asparagus fence line looks lacey and frilly and wispy enough to send your eyes back to your stomach—dreaming of the nostalgic feeling of a belly full of pie—rhubarb pie, that is. And snapdragons. Oh, their long, elegant necks, adorned with their own pattern of pastels—like the giraffes of the garden!
It’s spring, with this tell-tale sign: the sheer amount of lettuce. We are doing our best to contribute to the recommended five to nine daily servings, in salads alone! Then, you look down to see alyssum plants making a slow army crawl to carpet the soil, until that is, when these days will eventually become too hot and too long that many of these springtime seedlings will slow their beat to the pulse of a slumber, easing into siesta mode.
Part Two: Reflections
I hope that Lucille’s Garden in 2022 will be a place for refuge. Think of the droplets of spotted relief as a sprinkler catches you in its stream on a sweltering afternoon in July. Think of covered trellises—guiding you from the moment you come through the gate, magnetically as an escape from the sun. But wait, there is something to look at, perhaps an architecturally distinct flowering and fruiting vine, native to this very place!
I hope that Lucille’s Garden will be a place for joy. Imagine a child’s giggle at the tickling sensation of carrot tops grazing her arm as she pulls up its root from that loamy black gold—for the very first time. That nostalgic, transportive feeling of walking among spindly, tall flowers begins to remind you of the larger scale of the garden through yourself as a child.
I hope that Lucille’s Garden will be a place to give. Something the garden already has been granted, for many years now, is the gift of service. The volunteers come to share their time, labor, spirits, thoughts, words, and sometimes, if we’re lucky, their food! They share themselves. The outpouring of generosity into this space has always been palpable. It’s the intangible thread that holds the garden together, like the trellis that supports the peas as they grow upwards towards the sun.
I hope you can imagine the coming year for Lucille’s Garden with this preview. But I also hope you can imagine all of the ways it will change—with the seasons and with the nature of our work. Gardening requires a certain level of flexibility and acceptance. Working in tandem with the elements of the natural world, we must tailor our efforts, over and over again, until the “finished product” is different from what we had imagined. Yet, it will transform into something better, because there is a graceful beauty to working as part of a whole—a community.
If you ever want to be part of our community, we welcome you to come down for a visit, a chat, a moment to sit for yourself, and of course, as a volunteer!