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The Pleasure Dome

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The garden pod is at its best right now. Everything is in full bloom and ready for transplanting outdoors. I've repotted them all so they won't have to slow down for having cramped roots. The poet's jasmine is in full bloom again; the huge gardenia standard with the braided trunk burst open two days ago. After a dreadful winter of aphids and spider mite and whitefly, the insect forces have finally succumbed to a manageable level. Pyrethrins don't work at all for me any more; the insects chortle and frolic as they bathe and breaststroke in insecticide. More effective is organic clove and thyme oil, and it makes the greenhouse smell delightful when the spices mingle with gardenia and jasmine. But better than that is cold water, sprayed on the undersides of the leaves where pests hide. So simple, so beneficial, so nonpoisonous. Once I got the hose hooked up things started looking up for all my plants.

I love going down to the greenhouse to clip and prune and tidy things up, to water and sniff and breathe and banish the bad guys. Bill bought the little thermopane dome at a garden show years ago; it was a prototype display model that never went into production. Pity that. I count the Garden Pod as the best (material) gift anyone's ever given me. If you've always wanted a little greenhouse, just....DO IT. You only live once.

Bill took some nighttime photos of me in the greenhouse, reveling in out-of-season blossoms and fragrance, that bring to mind Coleridge's Kubla Khan, which I excerpt here, minus its second stanza which is all about war:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

A stately pleasure-dome decree:

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran

Through caverns measureless to man

Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground

With walls and towers were girdled round:

And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills

Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;

And here were forests ancient as the hills,

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted

Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!

A savage place! as holy and enchanted

As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted

By woman wailing for her demon-lover!...

The shadow of the dome of pleasure

Floated midway on the waves:

Where was heard the mingled measure

From the fountain and the caves.

It was a miracle of rare device,

A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer

In a vision once I saw:

It was an Abyssinian maid,

And on her dulcimer she played,

Singing of Mount Abora.

Could I revive within me

Her symphony and song,

To such a deep delight 't would win me

That with music loud and long,

I would build that dome in air,

That sunny dome! those caves of ice!

And all who heard should see them there,

And all should cry, Beware! Beware!

His flashing eyes, his floating hair!

Weave a circle round him thrice,

And close your eyes with holy dread,

For he on honey-dew hath fed,

And drunk the milk of Paradise.

that's the huge poet's jasmine bush at my feet. Now imagine that with hundreds of blossoms, all stinkin' up the night air...all dome photos by Bill Thompson III


Lovely post! Wonderful sequence of photos and quoting from one of my favorite poets..... it's heaven.

Sweet! I love your pod of happiness. Very nice your man caught you enjoying the place.

Beautiful photos of the lighted pod against the early evening sky. Looks pretty high tech with lights and heat?

I so wish gardening soothed my soul. As it is, it's just one more maintenance thing I need to do to keep the house/yard looking manageable. Having a bad back does not help matters. I miss the black rich soil of the Midwest, having to contend with rocks and clay.

Lovely series of photos and poetry. Enjoyed the peek into your special garden-for-all-seasons.

Your therapist is Dr. Gard N. Pod.

You're right! You're right!

There is nothing more sensuous than the breath of a greenhouse.

I don't think I've seen a post with a more cleverly, appropriate alignment of photos and excerpted poems.

(I appreciate the abridged version sans the blood-letting :-)

Loving and fabulous photos of you.

Just came inside with the scent of Rosemary and Lavender on my hands.

Hugs. Sorry I'm late.

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