Betty Jane Hegerat

On Gardening

I’m not writing much these days.  But I never do, in the short season we call summer in Calgary.  Around the same time I decided to get serious about fiction, I also found myself seriously drawn to the garden. Just as there seemed to be some windows of time when I could steal away to pour story ideas onto the page,  there was also space opening up in the yard.  The treehouse, sandbox, swing set and climbing dome were looking lonely, and I began to envision a garden lush with texture, rich in colour and full of song.  An adult place. Over the last ten years we’ve carved away at the traditional boxy design of lawn, shrubs, and flower bed borders.   We’ve decided that a small expanse of green is restful for the eyes so I may now have reached the limits of expanding the rose garden and perennial beds, but there is no end to possibilities so far as new plants and rearranging the old.   As long as I’m wearing my gardening gloves, this yard will be a work-in-progress, and from March, when I fill the trays and start the few favourite annual flowers, right through until October when it’s time to put it all to rest,  I do much of my creating on my knees or with my secateurs in hand. I’ll spare the obvious metaphors; gardening and writing are a perfect fit.  But right now, here’s the summer story: Garden 2011

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