Tag Archives: gardens


DSC_0094Le Notre and I are busy. He walks around my yard, leaning on the gold-headed cane gifted him by Louis XIV, and commands me to prune and pick up and plant. I love it when he visits. It’s that time of year, when my yard becomes a siren, and I lured to toil. It’s good to put one’s hands in soil, to dig and rake and straighten. To put a seed down. Seeds are the epitome of hope. I DSC_0094need hope in these days of my aging. It’s my botox.



The black swallowtail sat so still that I thought perhaps she was dead, but when I approached she fluttered away. Watching her weave through the great-grandfather of a camphor tree that dominates the yard, I fretted. My husband has a bird feeder, and birds were everywhere, and I didn’t want to witness an assault. Once, I opened my front door and saw a bird after a butterfly. It was a grim struggle, the small butterfly moving here and there, the much bigger bird intent and echoing every move. Life and death played out among my front trees. How frivolous butterflies are, such a flash of creativity by the Unseen, the way flowers are. How practical and ugly they might have been manufactured in order to fit into the intricate ladder of nature; instead they’re silk-winged dancers en pointe until the day they die.

Are we a flash of creativity by the Unseen? Why do we forget to unfurl our wings? What do you think?


It’s spring in Houston, no finer time to live here. My siren of a garden inspired this; it just fell out of my pen, a great thrill for a writer…………………..

The lilies are blooming. Is Cleopatra turning over in her grave, raising her long swan’s neck, clapping her hands for kohl and incense, wondering if Mark Anthony still loves her, if Augustus is worth seducing? Does she flutter slim fingers at handmaidens made of night and funeral ashes and ask for her diadem, her robe, her ring of red coral? The lilies, whose necks are even more slender than hers, sigh her name. The wind moves green lilylithe arms in summons, whispers the old names, Osiris, Isis, Thoth, and the great mother Nile………………………..

When I was a child, Egypt called to me, and I filled my mind with facts and stories from here. One I remember is Mara, Daughter of the Nile. What called you in your childhood? Was it a faraway place? Was it the here and now? Did books help you go there?