These two purple gems reminds me of Ronald Wallace's poem "Prayer for Flowers." Wallace is the Felix Pollak Professor of Poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also has a forty acre farm in Bear Valley, which is in Richland County. This poem is from his 2003 book "Long for This World."
Prayer for Flowers
Show me the disguises of coral root
That I may go unnoticed among enemies.
the tenacity of columbine
that might thrive in the unlikely place.
Teach me to climb higher than envy,
to trust my own colorful seasons.
Let the wind move me; let me keep my roots.
Like a pitcher plant, let me store up rain
against the dry season, surviving with patience
whatever comes along.
Show me the wind's song through lupine
that my blue days may be filled with music.
Teach me the persistent delicacy of glacier lilies
that I might endure winter's cold, heavy foot.
And, at the end time,
neither stiff-lipped nor trembling,
let me go up, like bear grass,
in a puff of smoke.
October signals drastic changes in Prospect Gardens as plants turn brown and blooms turn to seeds. October also involves preparing the Gardens for the inevitable winter.
On September 29th, a crew of nine, counting myself and my wife, Ann, begin cutting back plants. I'm the guy with the hat and sunglasses in the front row. To my left is Jessica, and to my immediate right is Joyce and Ann N. Laura and Hanns are in the back row. Hanns could be exclaiming about Ann's homemade treat, rum bars. Yum.
Gary who joined us for a short while before going to work is not pictured. Neither is Percy who joined us later.
Thanks to all of you. I so enjoyed sharing the day with you all. Special thanks to Percy for the advice regarding the two cherry trees. The trees need pruning and the lower branches are weighted down so the trees have a rounded appearance, and plenty of air space. A lot of air space helps prevent disease.
We ended about 1pm with another large pile of plant material awaiting pick-up by a city crew. While we cleaned out a substantial section of the Gardens, more needs to be done so the Gardens can "endure winter's cold, heavy foot."
We will resume the winter preparation on October 13th. If you are in the Madison area, please join us. Once again, we will share neighborliness, a homemade treat, and hopefully enjoy a sunny day. Your time and generosity will be greatly appreciated.