Saturday, March 19, 2016

In Honor of Saint Joseph



Today, March 19th, is The Feast of Saint Joseph. He is known for many things, including being the patron saint of home as well as house hunting. I became acquainted with the latter aspect of Saint Joseph when I was looking for an apartment. After much fervent prayer in which I implored his intercession, I found the one where I am currently living and where I have my little roof extension garden.

Over the years, I've written about my garden in relation to the flora as well as foliage that I grow here. And I've also written about how I maintain my garden during the winter season. Winter season maintenance for a container garden in the northeastern portion of the United States has been an ambitious undertaking.

Every year I mulch what grows in each of the containers that "house" my array of flora types (flowers, herbs, ornamental grasses, plants, shrubs, succulents, trees and vines). After doing this, I wrap each container in a layer of bubble wrap, then I put a layer of burlap over the bubble wrap and tie it all together with jute.

The time frame for doing these tasks varies from year to year depending on the onset of winter. Some years that has meant that I've had to winterize as early as mid November, other years it has meant that I've waited until January to do any winterizing.

And when it comes to de-winterizing, the tasks of unwrapping everything and removing most of the mulch has occurred at different times, depending on the onset of spring. In bygone years I've had to de-winterize as early as February; other years I've had to wait until late April to do any such work. In terms of this past winter, I winterized on December 15, 2015  and completed my de-winterizing yesterday, March 18, 2016. The results of my recent de-winterizing can be seen in the first photo accompanying this Fb entry, whereas the second picture features how my garden looked after being winterized this past December.

In the second image, you will notice an arrow, which is pointing toward one of the bird feeders (with a woodpecker noshing from it) that I have used in my garden to accommodate my avian friends who visit it.

For not only has my garden been a home to flowers, herbs, ornamental grasses, plants, shrubs, succulents, trees and vines; it has served as a haven for an array of birds. 

Recently, the combination of flora and fauna that are a part of my garden became the setting for a book I co-authored with Cam, a female cardinal who had availed herself of my hospitality. As some of you know this book is called Words In Our Beak Volume One.

But even though I'm proud that I've accomplished the task of helping my cardinal write a book, and even though I can now look forward to some blooming of flora that is about to occur (if the snow that is forthcoming does not squelch it); I am very saddened by the absence of a dear friend, Victor, who had been a big part of my home for so many years. He lived in the building directly north of my garden and seeing it is a constant reminder of the void in my life in light of his absence. I wrote about this in a short piece called "Home is People. Not a Place."

In any event, getting back to Saint Joseph and his feast day, I admit I've not been the most reverent person, hardly the attitude to take, after I've been so blessed to have such a unique place to live in NYC and to have good people in my life.

Tonight I'll be hosting a small dinner birthday party for one of those people, MM. He has helped me with some of the tribulations (hurricane and renovation related) that I've had as a result of my urban garden. (I also wrote about this and it can be read here on Blogger.)

Meanwhile, I hope going forward in the maintaining of my garden, and in the taking care of the avian community that visit it, as well as persevering in writing the sequels to Cam's book, that Saint Joseph will be willing to once again guide me in my path, and forgive me for getting sidetracked and succumbing to temptations that have not been good for me.

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