Rule #51 – Make pilgrimages.
Dictionary definition of “pilgrimage” - a journey of a pilgrim or any long journey or wandering
Well, Random House Dictionary, this is not enough. Let’s look at what a “pilgrim” is.
Dictionary definition of “pilgrim” – a person who journeys to some sacred place as an act of devotion
Much better, Random House Dictionary! I can relate to this portion of the definition.
I do believe that “sacred” could be anything that one values highly. For me, I hold my relationships with Hub and my kids (in-laws included) and grandkid sacred. These are relationships that make me tick. My religious practices are sacred to me, also. I hold some of my hobbies sacred as well. Now that may sound ridiculous, until you can understand how these hobbies connect to my life.
Many relatives of mine are making pilgrimages to all the baseball parks. I can relate to that, since I have vivid, comforting family memories around the professional baseball events. Ok, some of them were arguments. Some of them involved questionable language. But memories of those games, discussion, competitions, whatever it was – those memories are precious. The memory makes the event “sacred” and valuable.
Gardening is another sacred item in my world. For me, working the earth is an honor. It doesn’t matter if what I put in the ground grows or not. (It’s great when it does, but… no guarantees) Just thinking of who may have walked on this soil in the long distant past, or who may have passed by where I live in the history… working in a garden is such a humbling thing to do. It’s such an act of faith.
With this in mind, I prepared to be amazed again during my annual pilgrimage to the Philadelphia Flower Show. This year’s theme of “Brilliant!” brought hope of a trip to England, with all the formal gardens and wonderful roses. I went to enjoy, be inspired, learn, and bask in the spirit that is shared by gardeners world wide.
This year, my sisters, aunt and I decided to save the environment and use public transportation getting to the Philadelphia Convention Center. We trained in from New Jersey and walked the few blocks to the Center. Inside, we got our chance to walk through the gates of Buckingham Palace – sort of. The entry into the show was meant to be dramatic and did not disappoint. Beautiful groupings of roses and carnations greeted us at the Palace gate.
|Gates at the Palace - entry to the Show|
This year, the landscape designers honored the many items we associate with England. One large display paid homage to cricket, a relative of baseball. Others brought back the days of old when knights were bold. The flowers and plants enhanced the designs and fit into the overall color palette of the scene. Designers took plants that I grow in my garden and showed how they can become visually dramatic. Many designers took everyday items and turned them into planters, or worked them into the basic design of the garden view.
|Cricket bench at the Downend Cricket Club|
|More Cricket Club displays|
|It's good to be the king!|
|The full medieval look|
|Flowers that would work in my zone|
|My impatiens should look this good|
|No backyard kitchen I've ever seen before|
|Including the kitchen sink|
The Beatles were honored in a number of locations within the show. Several displays took individual Beatle songs and created displays using the name as the theme. We saw “Rain” gardens, a few “Octopus’ Garden” displays, and a display of a great use for a “Yellow Submarine”.
|When the rain comes....|
|... a nice way to hide your head|
|I'd like to be....|
|Under the sea|
|in an Octopus' Garden...|
|in the shade!|
|My Yellow Submarie|
One display took us to Professor Sprout’s garden from Harry Potter. She was growing items for Professor Snape’s potions stores. How else could you make a display of herbs, medicinals, and edible plants work and be interesting to kids? Add a few owls to the display and… Clever!!!
|Hedwig helps Professor Sprout|
|These can go directly to Professor Snape's store room|
|One of the many "post" owls|
|Errol delivers to Professor Sprout|
Austin Power’s Mod Pad was redone using flowers. After all, he was a Man of Mystery in the Flower Power era. Bright colors of flowers and furniture brought back memories… since I survived the Flower Power era. There were lots of groovy things to look at in these displays.
|Peace, Love and all that|
|Don't worry.... be happy|
|One groovy pad, Baby|
|Relax and get your groove on|
|Oh, so '70's in the colors|
Big Ben was the centerpiece of the displays. Projection screens allowed Big Ben to tell the exact time at all times. But on the hour, show goers were treated to a 5 minute montage of everything exported and British. The Beatles, Adam Antt, The Rolling Stones, Mr. Bean, 007, the Eurythmics, Benny Hill, Sgt. Pepper and the Blue Meanies… these and many more were worked into an MTV style video montage. I had to see it several times. Each time I found something else new.
|Big Ben, during the video montage|
I left those hallowed halls feeling inspired, rejuvenated, and just itching to go dig in the dirt. I had to hold onto those feelings since Spring arrived officially with snow and lots of cold and wind. Then it would get warm… and rain. This gardener couldn’t catch a break from the weather. Guess I just had to "Let it Be".
|Homage to "Let it Be"|
But now it seems like the warmer weather will be with us starting next week. Time to get outside and work the dirt. Time to get that garden party started. Time to take some of the inspiration from “Brilliant!” and put it into action.
Now if I could only get a mailbox that looks like this…
|Mine.... not yours. Mine!|
And until next year, when we get to journey to Ireland…
Who needs a gym membership when you can have a garden?
All photos are the work and property of Marge McGugan. No reuse or duplication without permission.