Monday, April 18, 2016

Samwise Gardener

Well, it's that time of year.  Snow has been absent in my area for quite awhile--perhaps a month?  Of course it did snow two weeks ago, but melted pretty quickly.  Can't ask for too much up north.

It has been an unusually hot spring.  At least that's what I think--somehow whenever a new season comes along it seems hotter or colder than it was last year.  Climate change?  Forgetfulness?  I don't know.

All I know is that the tulips sprouted up a few weeks ago and got frosted.  And the bunnies ate the hostas.  And the raspberries.  Not to mention the forsythias. Okay, the bunnies pretty much ate everything.

I'm not much of a gardener, but my mom puts a lot of work into our backyard.  Over the past couple years she has put together a beautiful shade garden (treacherous to weed, however), built a shed, started a line of trees to form a sort of natural fence and countless other projects.  Generally I am forced to help garden (and by garden I mean weed--talk about tedious!  Good thing Professor Olsen has some podcasts I can listen to to help the time go by).  Here are some snapshots I took of the garden last year.
Not part of the garden, but a pretty picture :)
The magnolia tree is in bloom right now!
I forget what these flowers are called--they look very
similar to glory-of-the-snow...anyone who recognizes them,
please let me know!
Violets in the shade garden

Astillbe at its peak

Tulip--my mom is famous for her tulips.

Tulips not eaten by the bunnies!  A miracle!
Before I go on...I would just like to ask the ever thoughtful and eternally creative family of the internet to please, please not take these pictures?  I am pretty proud of these photos and I just ask you ask for permission before copy-pasting them somewhere random.  Thank you...?  :)

Anyway, as much as I despise weeding (a nasty, uncomfortable thing) it does pay off to have flowers bloom so beautifully.  If I am ever tempted to tear off my wide-brimmed hat (protection from the sun that seeks to burn me to a pile of ashes) and throw my dirty gardening gloves in the mud out of frustration, I just think of Sam, calmly gardening and doing his best.  

It has been commented more times than I can count that Sam shows humility.  Certainly that's true.  But, remembering that Tolkien was a philologist, I looked at the root of humility, which is the Latin word humus (pronounced HOO-muss, not like hummus, the Middle-eastern dip).  Humus literally means "close to the ground".  I thought of Sam as I scratched up my knees weeding yesterday and how close to the ground I was, and how Sam was the same way.

A Dante's Divine Comedy Digression...
In Purgatario, the people being punished for being prideful are forced to carry boulders upon their backs which pushes them closer to the ground and closer to achieving the lively virtue of humility.


  1. Those flowers are so beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I too am somewhere in the north, so I know what you mean about the threat of snow at any time. XD One day it's 65 F, and the next you're shivering as the snow coats the soggy ground.

    Beautiful pictures! My mom does a lot of gardening too, but we do mostly vegetables and other edible things. Weeding is a chore, certainly, but I love seeing the black dirt looking so... clean.... I guess is the only word I have for it. ;)

    1. Yes, I can recall many Easters that had snow on the ground! It's very unpredictable.

      We grow a few veggies too--mainly lettuce, beans, tomatoes and of course rhubarb. Those probably won't get planted until Memorial Day or thereabouts I guess.

      Yes, clean dirt. Sounds like an oxymoron but I know what you mean. :)