Sunday, March 17, 2013

'Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.' (PSA)

            Sitting around the other day, pondering the big questions, (Sorry. That's "Do Tell" above. He's my choice listener and I've never introduced him to you. Allow me to apologize for this sloppy  breach of taste.) like, "What did 'masked revelry' mean?" A friend used it while chatting the other day.  Like me, Do Tell proffered, "Nothing. If it's  masked, it can't be seen/appreciated."
       Moving on, we wondered whether joy runs out or is there an infinite resource. The answer: When you subtract all resistance, the feelings will flow endlessly.  Embarking on a list of resistances, our conclusion was putting off all of those joy-producing, attainable possessions until, well, you never get them. So then. There'll be no more putting off our 'dream garden'. Off we went to the research/list-making endeavor.
       Gardening magazines are jumping off the racks these bleak, chilly pre-Spring days and we selected a reputable one seemingly brimming with colorful displays.  Immediately catching our eyes was one featured for its uniqueness and run-on commentary by the creator/planter herself. We'll call her Marge.  At first blush, her creation seemed to be one, large, sectioned unit.  Reading its history/description, inserted randomly, the reader was instantly alerted to the depth and complexity of Marge mirrored obliquely in her remarkable remarks.
       "Most people decorate the house first but I did the garden."  (She brought bulldozers in to dig a 50 x 30 foot area on the mountainside below the house.)  The residence is tucked into the side of Lookout Mountain, above Chattanooga.  The soil is a sticky clay which our girl replaced with humus and organic material. (Ashes?  Wood pulp?  Soy pods? WHAT?)  Then she devised a design that had to be as attractive from the house above as from within.  "It had to have bones."
       We were instantly curious as to the rate of prosthetic femur implantation in the state of Tennessee.  The reader's queries may focus more on the design.  We would simply suggest a 'sub-focus' on Marge's word choice.  She refers to a pleasing structure where one can ". . . add things or take things away."  When a storm took away some of the mature trees (Ah, the wisdom of age. They knew when to get out.), Marge built a pergola (open trellis made of wood columns supporting cross-rafters) to follow the bed curves and protect little shade-loving plants.
       A white picket fence separates the formal garden from the deck (informal, for guests) which is cantilevered out from the mountainside.  A white gabled gate leads nowhere.  It serves as a focal point to guide guests' eyes up into the garden. (Imagine if you will, "She's gone to get lemonade, Florence.  I'm just dying to see what she's done on the other side of that fabulous gate!" Indeed.)  About the pergola, Marge feels it adds to year-round appeal and ". . .provides support for the ornate cottage windows that hang as a backdrop for the plants."  The writer saw these as a witty accent, accenting the sense of being in an outdoor room.
       So, we thus far have a bifurcated mélange of flora: the more casual, utile deck where guests can relax on dark metal chairs (so they ".  . . would virtually disappear.") They also leave deep waffled indentations in the sitter's derriere as Marge chose to use comfy, colorful pillows ONLY on the backs of chairs.  While thus relaxing, guests enjoy a profusion of color and a mixture of form - spiky and round, short and tall - to keep the eyes moving up and down and all around the garden.
       (I can't help but picture a cousin of mine who suffers from mystagmus - a condition of eye muscle weakness which causes her eyes to continually move back and forth. Coupling this image of someone who additionally suffers from ADHD yields an uncomfortable guest seated on Marge's deck, eyes wildly jumping from one garden-caged filum to the next as though possessed or afflicted with an uncontrollable tic.)
       Complementing the precariously organic material-supported deck and just on the other side of the white picket fence that is color-coordinated with Marge's ingenious pergola and gabled-gate-to-nowhere, we have the 'garden to die for' (or in) with all of the color and architectural splendor that any self-respecting retina could take in at one (uncomfortable) sitting. So enticing is this view and so unbearable the chairs, a guest may actually - having calculated the odds of 'grab-ability' on the cliff walls during descent - opt to take a foray toward that gate.
       So, if you find yourself overlooking the Chattanooga area, house-hunting, do be aware. You see the stunning symbiotic interplay between guests and nature provides - at this residence - a macabre but melodic response to the presumably oft-posed question to our Marge: "How does your garden grow?" So, then, caveat emptor: when in those Chattanooga hills, darling, tip-toe through those tulips, calceolarias and pergola-protected ground coverings. And 'beware of sweet sellers, who come to the door, wistful and pale, of fifty and four, delivering daisies with delicate hands. Beware of sweet daisies. Beware of their hands. Beware.
Later, Lorane. : . :
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