Garden Update: Bursting Forth and Bittersweet

I’ve been so busy with sessions and house hunting, which makes this season’s Dance of Spring a little bittersweet. The literally thousands of bulbs I’ve planted as recently as last Autumn have begun their smiling jigs and Sufi swirls. I still contend that this circle of miniature daffodils I planted around our North Star Cherry tree, visible from the stairwell’s window, was one of the very best gifts I’ve ever given myself:


You can also see the chives poking through as they prepare to bloom in the season of alliums, while the Elfin Thyme ground cover awaits warmer weather.

As David and I view property after property, I continue to move through a mix of emotions, realizing that I likely will not have this large a yard or this type of garden again. I’ve poured so much time, money and love into these yards, initially to offset the oppressive ugliness around our first house, but then gradually transforming and taking over the adjacent house and yard. This little segment of Goshen blooms from March through November, a honeybee and butterfly haven, squirrel and rabbit paradise, and a massive harvest of food and flowers for humans, too.

The garden has been my best local friend and baby while David poured so much energy into helping his parents. It cheered me when I returned last year after helping my own parents as my father passed and I spent two months moving my mom from their house of thirty years into a beautifully feng shui’d and tailored just for her new home. The garden has fed countless neighbors and students, friends, and family members as they’ve visited. It’s provided garlic, tea, and herbs for faraway friends and family, and David’s mom receives 35-40 bouquets a year. Our produce has fed people we don’t even know at a local food bank and soup kitchen. I’ve provided flowers and lodging for memorial services, plant starts for other gardeners, and I’ve hosted garden tours and taught others how to permaculture their own yards. The garden has served as my connection point and calling card in an area with few receptors for my other gifts.

Most importantly for me, the yard became an enormous canvas, welcoming my designs and colors, feeding my soul, allowing this artist to run wild, and rewarding me with feasts for all the senses. Everyone keeps saying, “How can you leave your garden?” “You’ll miss your garden,” and until this weekend, I didn’t really think I would. I love it, but it’s a ton of work, sometimes quite literally! It’s great exercise, and I will always have some kind of edible ornamental garden and perhaps experiment with more bio-intensive gardening on a much smaller scale with better soil. But for so many reasons, I know that I will not repeat these yards.

As with any good permaculture project, the design suits not only the land itself, but its surroundings and uses. In Goshen, I wanted and needed a time sink. I loved the education, but I also loved how much time the gardens took to design, create, implement and tend. With few distractions of interest to me and very little Nature, Goshen provided the perfect intensive immersion course in restoration permaculture, land healing, and digging deeper inside myself than I ever realized I could go. This Underworld Initiation was all consuming. It informed my work, as well as my own healing, perspective, politics and spirituality. It will certainly inform my writing. But it has served its purpose. For me. For us. We know it’s time to leave and shift and grow in different directions.

When we move, I’ll focus much more on writing, traveling and teaching classes. I want some fruit and nut trees, lots of flowers (of course), and a more elegant looking landscape filled with surprising edibles. I want attractive hardscaping, and I challenge myself to sneak permaculture principles into a much more traditional looking landscape. I look forward to the new design, which will completely depend on the new location, as yet unknown except that we will have a new location. We shall see. I feel excited about the prospects of a totally new design opportunity and goals, and I know this next phase will provide so much joy and so many rewards for me and especially so for David.

But yes, I will miss my Goshen garden. Here’s some late March beauty, likely the last I’ll experience in these yards and houses:




To all the Faeries, Elves, Devas and Spirits of the Land, I honor you. I urge you to become a beacon to your new human caretakers, as we transition from this sacred ground.

To all the Faeries, Elves, Devas and Spirits of the next Land, I honor you. Please welcome us. Make known your desire to work and play with us. Summon us. Provide the vision. Open the way.

With deepest blessings and love …

16 responses to this post.

  1. you’ve had a full and soulful journey there, enriched the land, opened doorways, honored the earth, animals, and all beings, and created opportunity where there seemed none. i know it will be a bittersweet and emotional experience moving on and yet it will always be a part of you, and you a part of it. i feel like this post and your recent really full readiness to move forward is invoking the magick to unveil itself in the new and all of your friends are assisting, just as you have assisted them. i’m so glad i had the chance to experience it all first hand and lend a tiny helping hand, but also to meet the rabbit family and the dear little one there i still remember clearly. a connection for us both, which is so sweet to share. sending you lots of love and magickal wishes for the perfect landing for both you and david ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you, sweet friend and faery twin! Yes, it has been a full and soulful journey here, and I would not change it. I do feel a deep well of support and look forward to how everything unfolds on both ends of the journey. We’ve already felt so much protection as we explore possibilities, some of it quite dramatic, as you know. I saw one of the bunnies last night, chomping on my tulips, LOL … but I’m sure this is like the great great great great grandbaby of your little friend. So excited for you and your Dave, too, in your new adventures. Love you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Posted by Eliza Ayres on March 29, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Laura – I understand how you feel having left three beautiful gardens behind me in the midst of my lifetime adventures. Your work and sharing has brought inspiration to those of us who don’t have gardens right now but can still dream of a more grounded, abundant future for all people as well as treasuring the environment in which you happen to find yourself. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Posted by Dawn Vierra on March 29, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Much love to you and David on the new directions revealing themselves to you. You created an oasis in a desert so to speak. Leaving everything for the betterment 20 times or more over its original state. What a blessing for all

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you, Eliza. It’s true, this garden has reached many more than have visited it in person. I’m always humbled and encouraged by those who’ve created beauty and abundance for others, with the dedication but non-attachment to outcome. It’s a difficult but rewarding spiritual practice. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you, Dawn! Much love to you, too. Yes, I have literally seeded Goshen. Word has already spread across the grapevine that we’re leaving, and many locals are trying to find the right tenants for both houses and stewards for the yards. It’s beautiful how many people have come to love this garden and how many have expressed their sorrow if things do not continue and if they cannot visit the trees again. I trust something will reveal itself on both ends, something bigger and more perfect than I can currently imagine. That’s why I keep doing Reiki Healing Attunements! 😉 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Posted by Dawn Vierra on March 29, 2017 at 10:37 am

    That’s quite a tribute to your work and love Laura. I’m keeping a vision of continued beauty and support on both ends. Huge hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Posted by Eliza Ayres on March 29, 2017 at 10:44 am

    And I’m one who says good-bye to the plants and the birds when I leave an area. It is our intuitive connection to the elemental kingdom and our love for this planet. Blessings, dear one.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you, Dawn! Huge hugs right back to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m sure they miss you, too, Eliza! Thanks for the blessings, kindred spirit. To you as well …

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Posted by Barbara on March 29, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    I’ve learned so much about Earth Healing from following your blog, Laura, thank you. At the end of last September my house sold and I left my raised beds garden, having first planted crystals sending and receiving Love for the new owners and environment, and now I have an apartment with a balcony, and hey, Spring has sprung, and I’m so looking forward to a balcony garden, which I’ve never had before. All the best to you and David, and let’s keep planting those seeds wherever we go and at whatever height we happen to find ourselves! Love, B.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on Illuminations Now!!.

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  13. Posted by Terry Tangredi on March 30, 2017 at 6:09 am

    Dear Laura, I too have left behind a couple of gardens so I know the bittersweet feelings you speak of. I wish you and David find the perfect spot to continue your journey with the nature spirits. Looking forward to reading your writings! Green blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh, Barbara, I’m so happy to hear this! I remember how much you wanted to move. There are some great books out there on container gardening, vertical gardening, balcony gardening. It’s amazing what people do in small spaces. 🙂 Love and congratulations to you, Laura


  15. Thanks so much, Terry! Happy Spring and Green Blessings to you, as well. 🙂


  16. […] the 2012 challenge of this crazy, horribly broken and ugly yard in Goshen. As David and I prepare voluntarily to transition elsewhere, Ron faces unwelcome and massive pressure from Strategic Acquisitions, Inc., who have threatened to […]


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