Any garden/home tour that incites me to clean out the office is money well spent. Cleaning for me has never been a daily spritz here, a light bit of dusting there, but a long-delayed, ferocious, all-out assault when conditions become unbearable, when the work surfaces disappear under piles of magazines. The house keeps itself going fairly well, but the office, where we spend most of our time, becomes a sty in no time at all. The judgments are always excruciating. Keep the stacks of unread New Yorkers? Look, here’s a piece by Adam Gopnik I missed. They stay.
But cleaning has its rewards. A 20-year-old photo of
Pamela Toby,* probably watching my boys playing in the shallow pools on an Oregon beach.
(Every Newf is Nana in Peter Pan.)
Garden magazines are just as hard to toss. And I have to put myself in the mindset of the self that last cleaned the office and gave all this stuff a pass. Why was this Garden Design spared, the September/October 2009 issue? Was it oversight or deliberate choice to keep it? Flipping through I find an interview with landscape architect Christy Ten Eyck and this question: What has inspired you? And her answer: “Brimming bowls, as in Moorish gardens, inspire me by using the least amount of water for the most effect. They suggest that water is abundant, which of course it isn’t in an arid climate.”
As if commanded by unseen forces, I immediately drop the magazine, rise up and head for the copper fire pot that was used a few summers ago as a brimming bowl. It was collecting algae by the hose spigot in the front garden. A quick rinse and it was back in place. Evie and I love a good brimming bowl. I just needed a cleaning day to remind me.
*I was corrected by both boys, on Mother’s Day in fact, that this is not a photo of Pamela after all, but her puppy Toby, who was half-Newf.
What a great post! Evie is adorable and Pamela, may she be resting in peace. I wouldn’t know about the cleaning. My house is a wreck. Unless it’s the garden which is way more fun than the house.
but where is the float ?
Last night I actually brought the vacuum out because there was so much yard debris on the tile floor of my kitchen sitting room that it felt nasty to walk around in bare feet. Nick is like a piece of velcro and every time he goes out he comes back with bits of mulch, leaves, sticks and dirt attached which eventually end up on the floor. Obviously I’d rather garden than clean but it was raining last night and I have company coming this weekend. Nothing like company to force a cleanup.
Grace, ain’t it the truth!
Kathy, all right, I’ll get the mineral crust off the float and get it in pronto!
Sue, I think I’m the piece of velcro in this household 😉
Since the cleaning project improved the garden, it was worth it, right?
Hoov, see correction. I’ve been reminded that this was Toby, who was half-Newf. It always seemed that he was much healthier for the “mutt blood” infusion, lived a long life, for a large breed (14), with no illnesses. Pamela only made it to 7 years of age. Both dogs looooved going to the foggy beaches of Oregon in August as much as we did.