I arrived home from Paris last evening and the first thing I did was walk around the garden. Being gone for ten days in the growing season is double-edged hoe, so to speak. A garden changes daily, but when I am there to observe those changes they don’t seem very drastic or dramatic.
If I leave a garden at the end of June and return in mid-July, however, I clearly see how things have progressed while I’ve been gone. The foxgloves are brown stalks bowed over by the weight of their seedpods. Daisies, hard buds on one foot stalks when I left, have doubled their height and are in full bloom. In just 12 days the garden has changed considerably and I see it with fresh eyes.
In addition to new flowers and taller plants, there are also larger weeds. Many of them. I’m unable to resist pulling some as I wander, even though I am jet lagged and my body is telling me that it is 1 AM in Paris, so it really is time for bed. Eventually I give in and go to sleep.
My internal clock wakes me at 3:30 AM (9:30 Paris time) and although I determinedly try to fall back asleep, my body is just as resolutely awake. I swing my legs out of the bed, and prepare to start the day.
What a gift that proved to be. By 4:45 I was in my garden, pulling weeds and deadheading perennials. It was so early that the sun and the mosquitoes were not yet out; no sunscreen or bug repellant was needed. It was too soon for morning traffic, so all I heard was the birds and wind in the trees.
“I should get up at 4 AM more often, and come out to the garden,” I think, knowing immediately that I won’t ever do this. I am not an early riser.
Traveling isn’t just broadening when we are away from home, but shakes things up on our return as well.