Wonderfully Eerie/Remerging From The Green Womb

Most of us know it:  that fleeing disappointment or trauma to a gardening life is to find healing.  At some point we manage, perhaps, to re-emerge into that other world, the non-garden one, grown stronger, healed from a stay with our greater mother, Gaia, from her green womb.  

Sunday night we watched a movie called "This Beautiful Fantastic", which is about that process, sort of.  The script needed three or so more re-writes, but the work of Tom Wilkinson, one of those Always Deliciously Watchable Veteran UK Character Actors, and Andrew Scott, himself quickly evolving into another Always Deliciously Watchable Veteran UK Character Actor, made the film, you know--watchable.  
There were human characters, of course, but more importantly, a beautiful glasshouse stuffed with begonias, a gorgeous conservatory, and token, fleeting shots of pretty flowers--some strangely and oddly out of focus--was this to explain one character was nearsighted??--it didn't--and a sudden soaking rain shower,  the last being pure salacious pornography to a Southern California gardener in a drought year.   Disappointing, on the whole, but some of the bits were good, and how many gardening movies are there?  

We can't be too fussy.  Gardens do not instigate car crashes and the blowing up of cities.  Several versions of "The Secret Garden" explain the Green Womb Phenomenon quite well;  "A Man Called Pearl" is soul-inspiring.  What else?  "Green Fingers" is about Daniel Craig auditioning to be James Bond. "Edward Scissorhands"? Mmmm...not quite, and too much Wynona Ryder.

The most evocative gardening movie for me is a brief single scene in "The Godfather",  wherein Vito Corleone meets his end in the tomato patch.  A breeze billows the silky white fabric shading the tomatoes.  Corleone plays with a toddler grandson, sips a glass of wine.  Dappled sun dances on the grass.  You can smell pesticide dripping from the spray pump--a perfect touch of dread--and imagine yourself maneuvering through the beautifully staked tomatoes--of course we gardeners consider how the tomatoes are staked--and we feel that tossing breeze cooling our cheeks, as Corleone falls to rejoin the earth.  

There wasn't time for Vito to rejoin the world, but the garden has healed even him; battles done, he rests.  Al Pacino is stuck with the mess.  One brilliant movie and one bad movie later, he fails.  He should have gardened. 
Wonderfully eerie, Sunday afternoon was the quietest of the year, the afternoon when all the rest of the country stays indoors watching the last football game of the season, thereby leaving the out there to me.  

No jets roaring overhead, no cars driving by, no chainsaws, no leaf blowers, no kid practicing the drums with the garage door open.  Rather:  birdsong.  Water splashing in the fountain and pond.  The smacking of koi lips as I lob in pellets.  A sense of peace as strong as the perfume of a Gallica rose.  Another drought has begun, to kill my Eden.  My Green Womb is withering and threatens to cast me out.  However Sunday afternoon here, the world was gloriously empty of human sounds, the healing green embraced, and I for a moment reemerged voluntarily, renewed.

Comments

  1. That must have been a very happy Sunday afternoon, peaceful in your own piece of Eden. I have never seen here a real garden movie, I suppose most people think movies about gardening are boring unless there is a murder in the garden.
    Beautiful vase of flowers!

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    1. There should be more garden movies, perhaps we need to make our own!

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  2. Beautifully written post. The garden and plants, source of solitude and renewal, even for just a few minutes or hours at a time.

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  3. Is that the same scene with the orange rinds? That's an interesting, moving choice as your fav gardening scene but very apt -- even the titans eventually fall to earth . Your Eden is a toughie -- maybe more silvery now than green, but it'll adapt and beat the drought. We've gotta stay strong (brave words! I hate this "new normal" too)

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    1. Yes, the orange rind monster. I have read that most of the scene was improvised, Brando just having fun playing with the toddler.

      Yes my garden is more silvery than green. How'd that happen? I do like silver foliage!

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  4. Your post has brought me out of lurking just long enough to say "I couldn't agree with you more!" About the Green Womb Phenomenon, about the DWVUKCA actors, and about the weird and disappointing film. My husband found it for me, saying it was "about gardening," so I was game... and we stuck with it all the way to the end, but it was hugely disappointing - both as a film and as a gardening "fix." What was up with those weirdly out-of-focus flower shots???
    I'm so glad you had a wonderful day in the garden on Sunday. I really enjoy reading your blog.
    -Vicki in Seattle

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    1. Happy you found the post of interest, Vicki. The movie...well...the food arrangements on the plates were fun, but how did they fit in???

      Thank you for commenting, and please tell the rain to go south! Don't keep it all for Seattle, okay?

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  5. The images on gardening blogs always are captivating but is is your prose style. Lovely.

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  6. You don't sound too happy. "Another drought has begun, to kill my Eden." Yes, this thing called climate change has happened too fast. And your Eden was made before the big heat up. the days of interminable all season heat waves, the days of drought and water restrictions, especially your rose garden, but you have prepared adequately for the future . You have irrigation, you have aloes and agaves. These will survive. So will you.

    Remember 9-11? The one good thing that came out of that was the absolute quiet in the skies, no helicopters monitoring the freeways (1/4 mile away), no planes taking off or landing at LA (I am in the direct path), no recreational flying. It was so peaceful. SBS is like that.

    Another thing that has changed is Sunday. Now people work all days of the week, Sunday is no longer a day of rest.

    But the jasmine flowers and citrus trees most of them still give us a fresh scent in the mornings.

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    1. It's just the rain disappointment syndrome talking. Some rain would make it vanish. Nothing sweeter than the air when the oranges are in bloom. A highlight of every spring.

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  7. Oh, HB, I can identify with the angst but Denise is right, your garden will survive and adapt as necessary. I'm hoping mine, less well established than yours, will do so as well. And I'm still holding out hope that this year's rain-less condition is just another one-off event, a "course correction" of sorts after last year's heavier-than-usual rain. Our mistake have been feeding into the hype when California declared the drought "over" last year. It wasn't over, last year's rain was another anomaly, and we need to continue to conserve and plan ahead as best we can for the rain-less years while rejoicing when we get a bounty. I admit I do think about bouncing out of here and moving to the rainy PNW on occasion (only half-kidding, I told my brother-in-law I'd like to plop a tiny house on his 3 acre lot on Vashon, offering to maintain his garden for him) but it's too early to throw in the towel.

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    1. I feel like I can hear the garden calling for water, water! Hurts. I was in no way thinking the drought was over and everything would be "normal" again--but I was hoping for more than 1.25" for the year, you know? I want to see water falling out of the sky, and smell damp air, and see everything dripping. The dry hurts. The towel it's too early to throw is dry, dry...

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    2. Well, both the TV forecasters and AccuWeather on-line, which just a day or 2 ago showed no rain until late February, now show rain Monday through Wednesday. It's not a deluge by any means but fingers are crossed that we'll get something. There's no discounting that this is going to be a dry year overall, though - unless chaos theory operates in our favor (for a change) and miraculously sends some summer thunderstorms our way. It could happen! (I'm not delusional, just ever hopeful.)

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    3. This evening we have had 10 mm so far, which sounds SO much better than ... under half an inch. But my tanks and basins are filling up gratefully. Life has changed, that's for sure.

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    4. Diana, very happy you got some rain!!!! Even a little bit is a help. Best wishes for more rain for you and Capetown.

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    5. Yes, I saw that--some chance of rain soon, maybe. Anything, anything. How about a March Miracle?

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  8. I also enjoyed the quiet on Sunday ;)
    A beautifully written review. The review was probably more satisfying than the movie!

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    1. Thanks, katob! Isn't quiet beautiful?

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  9. I reads like you had a perfect reflective soothing day. I hate that your area is still in a drought. We have many mini droughts here. I can feel our area changing. Often I wonder what I should be doing to prepare my garden for the onslaught of heat and dry weathers. I love the idea of koi smacking their lips. Lovely post. Peace.

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    1. Plants with lower water needs, mulch to retain soil moisture, rain storage--there's lots that can be done--lots I have done, but more seems to be needed.

      Peace to you, too. :)

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  10. yes to gardening on SBS, I look forward every year. Sometimes it rains, but not this year. Instead it's day after day of beautiful 70 degree temps with no rain in sight--both good news and bad news.

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    1. I agree, the weather has been so gorgeous but so dry, good and bad at the same time.

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  11. Completely with you on the Godfather scene among the tomatoes as the best gardening movie vignette I know of -- among other reasons, because someone involved with the set had clearly seen actual tomato growing. Wouldn't it be excellent if there were a film that had many scenes in a real garden that changed dramatically through the seasons; it wouldn't have to be *about* gardening, as long as any gardening activity seen was realistic. The nearest examples I can think of are movies with many scenes in Central Park -- When Harry Met Sally, Hannah and Her Sisters.

    Very much hoping you and the rest of SoCal get sone early out-of-season rains.

    For the first time since before Christmas, we're headed into a stretch of at least ten days and nights where it won't go below freezing. The first winter aconite just unfurled, and the first waft of winter honeysuckle is detectable on the front porch. Winter's unlikely to be completely over, but from here on it's fighting a rear guard action...

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    1. I wonder if Coppola told the greensperson how to tie tomatoes correctly--they look spot-on. He is after all of Italian heritage and ended up I think as a somewhat hands-on-wine grape grower.

      Excellent idea for a movie backdrop, the change of seasons in a garden. Enjoy your above-freezing stretch, and we have a chance of drizzle this coming week. Actual drizzle! Wheeee!

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  12. Wonderfully and thoughtfully written... I agree. Few things beat a world devoid of human sounds. It's by no means a quiet world, but it's nice to not have our overpopulation thrust in our faces all hours of all days. Those rare "quiet" moments are precious! I do hope Kris is right, and you get some rain soon. As for the movie - yes, it was absolutely a predictable chick flick, but I actually really enjoyed it. I think I really needed to rest my weary eyes on something like that. :)

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