I'm thrilled to announce that the winner of the Artful Blogging Giveaway is Susan from Windrock Studio! Thank you to everyone who entered, and to those who sent emails and notes as well! You are what makes blogging matter to me, and I'm so grateful that we found each other.
These photos are of the last few marigolds that I gathered from my garden yesterday as Mr. Magpie and I raked and began putting the gardens to bed for the winter. We've had flowers blooming up until the snowstorm (yes, snowstorm) that hit us over Halloween weekend, so I've been hesitating to really clean up the beds or cut anything back. Besides, I tend to leave as much as possible to overwinter as it stands so that the birds will have seed heads for eating. Plus, I love the look of the browning stalks as the snows begin to come. I believe winter gardens have an austere beauty of their own.
Still, it's fun to gather up armfuls of the last annuals and the last herbs for drying, so I brought in huge bunches of beauties yesterday, and these marigolds just looked especially marigold-y against our newly painted bedroom floor, so they got to feature in a mini photo shoot.
As I worked in the garden, I remembered a poem by Jane Hirshfield that I love, so I thought I'd share it with you here:
November, Remembering Voltaire
In the evenings
I scrape my fingernails clean,
hunt through old catalogues for new seed,
oil work boots and shears.
This garden is no metaphor –
more a task that swallows you into itself,
earth using, as always, everything it can.
I lend myself to unpromising winter dirt
with leaf-mold and bulb,
plant into the oncoming cold.
Not that I ever thought the philosopher
meant to be taken literally,
but with no invented God overhead
I conjure a stubborn faith in rotting
that ripens into soil,
in an old corm that flowers steadily each spring –
not symbols but reassurances,
like a mother’s voice at bedtime
reading a long-familiar book, the known words
barely listened to, but bridging
for all the nights of a life
each world to the next.
Jane Hirshfield, from Of Gravity & Angels, 1983
More soon, my friends. xo Gigi