Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Is the garden ever in repose?

No, not really.  Not even in the dead of winter.

Underneath, bulbs are starting to stir.  Seeds are emerging.  Roots are reaching for nourishment.

We may only see the outline of a garden.

But survival takes a lot of energy.

Fall is the time we think of the garden as going into repose for the winter.

But we are wrong.

Like a cocoon, there is more than meets the eye that we can't see.

Is a gardener ever in repose?

I think not.  Always thinking, always planning, always tweaking.

Always looking to the future.

A garden never sleeps.

And the gardener is always dreaming of spring.

I'm joining Donna's Word for Wednesday meme on repose.


  1. Even when we are sleeping there are many physiological processes occurring. But we are still resting. I kinda think of a garden and plants like that. Like what happens under the hood of a car, we don't see it happening while the car is in motion, yet we realize that it is happening to make the wheels turn and the car operational. Even the car at rest has physical properties in action, like rust or fading paint, yet, we might say the car is at rest because it is motionless, yet there is that working on it, changing its very being. Even dead, there is a multitude of organisms at work consuming. I am rambling, but it is great food for thought, very existential and philosophical. So repose does not exist... very existential. Thanks for adding to the discussion and nice winter photos.

  2. Donna - Repose was a hard word for me. Since the weather has cooled, I've been working more in my garden, and the flowers are responding by blooming more. So, I wasn't in much of a reposed mood! And I realized that even when I wasn't working in the garden, I was thinking about it constantly. It's hard to just rest, because ideas are always forming, or a weed needs pulling, or a plant needs moving, etc, and the garden is always changing, plants are always growing, the picture is always changing. Maybe I do need to rest more! LOL

  3. I love that first picture so much. It's perfect to demonstrate repose. So peaceful and serene.

  4. Yes---we gardeners are always looking ahead FOR SURE... We just planted some spring bulbs this week!!!!!!

    Love the snow pictures... I love snow --just not too much of it!!!! Most people don't know that snow protects tender plants... It's the FROST which kills them!!!!

    Have a wonderful evening.

  5. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden
    Wow! Another great Word for Wednesday post. I love the mix of black and white for winter and color for spring/summer. The snow shots are all spectacular. I love the sweeping branches in the opening shot and the bench mid-way especially. Your words are wonderfully poetic. Bravo!

  6. Repose is not an easy word but you have done a great job with it. Love your shots especially the winter ones. Love the verses that go with the photos too.

  7. AHHHH Yes the gardener never sleeps! Wonderful job with repose...beautifully written!

  8. Captured perfectly. You are absolutely right :) XoL

  9. Your post is PERFECT! You are right the garden isn't really ever in repose, maybe that's why I found this word so difficult. Christina

  10. Your post is PERFECT! You are right the garden isn't really ever in repose, maybe that's why I found this word so difficult. Christina

  11. Too true Holley. Except I didn't want to see that white stuff yet...your pics are gorgeous though. I like the thaw we get in mid winter which reminds us that our gardens are still going strong even buried deep with the fluffy white stuff. And I am never resting. planting, planting seeds, reading garden books...fab post!!

  12. I like the idea of the garden never at rest because then I don't have to feel like the gardener should be at rest!

  13. tina- That's one of my favorite pictures, too. That's the scene (with or without snow) I see from my kitchen. It always beckons me to go out into the garden.

    Betsy - Isn't it wonderful to have bulbs to plant in the fall, that gives us something to look forward to for spring? It's as if mother nature knew us gardeners needed something to keep our hope up through the winter.

    Jennifer - I tried to get color shots of blooms in repose, then realized that most of my garden was not in repose! And neither was I! Thus, the post on non-repose. Thanks for commenting.

    One- To me, winter is the most repose the garden sees. Although we don't get snow much here, I was lucky enough to have some pictures from last year's unexpected snow. I think snow makes all things beautiful.

    My Garden Diaries - I think the gardener never sleeps because we are obsessed with our gardens! If we're not out in it, we're thinking about it!

    Happy Homemaker UK - Each season brings its own kind of beauty, and growth - whether on top or underground. But through it all, the gardener is working to improve the garden.

    GirlSprout - As I told Jennifer above, this word was difficult for me as my garden is not sleeping right now, but blooming madly, and I am working furiously. No repose in my garden yet!

    Christina - It was difficult for me, too. My zone is warm enough to not be in the clutches of fall just yet. Perhaps I would have felt differently if my garden were shutting down. Thankfully, I still have another month or so of blooms and work before it gets cold here.

    Donna - We rarely see that white stuff, so it doesn't have much of a hold on my spirit like gardeners that live farther north. Winter is a time for roots to take hold. I think most of us never truly take a rest from our gardens. If we're not out working in it, we're planning, evaluating, thinking, reading about it, or blogging about it!

    Carolyn - It's hard for gardeners to be at rest, isn't it? We all have benches set around, but I bet the majority of us rarely sit in them. If we do, it's probably not for long - just until we see a weed, or to figure out more improvements to the garden!

  14. You have great winter photos, especially the first one which i love the most with those arching branches. On repose per se, i agree with Donna, that there really is not a Repose at all, just existential, which leads me to 'what is essential is invisible to the eye'. Now my mind leads me to the total repose, death, yet even in death the chemical structures never stop and the spirit as well!

  15. Andrea - If you think about it, you realize that everything changes. There is never complete repose.

  16. Beautiful shots! I love both seasons in pictures. After the first pretty snow I am soon over it. LOL!
    I you are right, the garden is never in repose completely. We should take time to just set and enjoy the works of our labors more often too.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  17. Lona - I agree. We should take a bit more time to just sit and enjoy. Seems like there's always something we want to 'fix' in the garden!

  18. Holley, what a great post! When I lived in Vermont and everything was covered in snow for months (and months and months) the garden may have been in (forced) repose, but I spent the winter planning fantasy gardens in the tropics... My first fall here I planted some yarrow expecting it just barely to make it through the winter, and instead it had tripled in size by spring. Repose doesn't really seem to be our natural state of being! Beautiful photos--after seeing your garden through a drought summer, it's hard to believe it could ever see snow.

  19. Stacy - See what I mean about the gardener always planning and dreaming? I, too, plan fantasy gardens when I'm not outside working. I love to see snow here - some years we see it, other years we don't. The good thing about snow here is it usually melts within a day. Just a nice change.


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