Saturday, 17 September 2011

Simple Pleasures

In the vegetable garden there is a newly planted row of tomato seedlings standing to attention with the aid of some bamboo stakes. J'adore faire du jardinage.
Despite differences in culture and socio-economic backgrounds, there is a universal camaraderie amongst gardeners. Real gardeners. The ones who actually till the earth. I revel in the chance to "get down and dirty" in practical heavy-duty work wear and feel  privileged to be able to get my hands in the soil.  For many, it's not possible.  
Dora the scarecrow has watched over the vegetable patch and also 
our children who spent their holidays at Lily Pilly farm. She has survived 
the extremes of the seasons and endured a  couple of facelifts over the 
years. Our children are now adults and Dora still stands dutifully on 
Contemporaries often look askance when I tell them of my delight pottering in the yard, digging, rearranging and preparing the  beds and vegetable patch. "Oh I've a gardener for that", " I hate getting dirt on my hands", "We've no room for a garden" or " I don't garden - my nails!", are common responses when this topic is raised . Sadly, the many delights of having one's own plot of dirt are are rapidly being lost in urbanised communities.  
A Spring visitor to our garden.

The first apple from a
young tree.
Houses are being replaced by apartment living and suburban blocks (which once produced much of the family's food in the early 20 century) are being further subdivided into minuscule parcels of land with barely enough room to construct the all too common, oversized "boxes made of ticky-tacky" that speak of the financial success.... or stupidity of their occupants. Without their own patch of earth, urban dwellers are deprived of the nuances a garden provides that indicate the changing of the seasons.....and the joy of picking fresh flowers and tasty home-grown produce. 
Our delicious pears - harvested this year.
One small patch of Earth can be very
There is something magical to be able to commune with nature - it creates an inner peace that over rides the outer frustrations daily living. Gardening is a wonderful form of meditation. 

Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables.  They probably get jet-lagged, just like people.  ~Elizabeth Berry


Ann said...

Nice produce!
I am used to gardening flowers; I am definitely learning the veggies. I love having them fresh- right out of the ground. Just feels good, you know?

Franka said...

I like Dora.
She pays attention. Good for a rich harvest!

♥ Franka

Anonymous said...

October 23, 2011
What a strange coincidence! Earlier this morning I Googled Elizabeth Berry after rereading an article on her from a very old magazine by the name of "Countryside," from July, 1992. Several hours later I saw the quote from one "Elizabeth Berry" here on your blog. I had just discovered your blog. It has to be the same Elizabeth Berry from Abiquiu, New Mexico!
She is a consummate gardener and grows rare vegetables for Santa Fe restaurants. I love coincidences like that.

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

Hello Caterina,

Thank you for visiting my blog. I too love coincidences and was delighted to read your comment. I have had no luck trying to reach your blog. Could you please send me your blog address?
Warm regards,


Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, I don't really have what I would call a "blog." COULD be one. I post photos on Flickr. I have gotten very few comments on my photos, mostly from my daughter! Bless her. I can't figure out how to link my Flickr page with Blogger. I really a novice and would not call myself a "blogger." I live in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado on a small "farm" way out in the country and love it.
You could Google
Flickr Caterina B My Little Farm/ photos. I think you can get there from that. There is "another" Caterina B and I believe she is the CEO of Flickr. I am not her.
Good luck with your French house. I wish I had that much courage.

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

Thanks for replying. We have 12 acres in the country which keeps us busy in our "spare time". I love hens and will try to find your Flickr photos. If I'm not successful, please send an email to me ( so we can keep in contact. Warm wishes. Elizabeth