Everything You Need

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."  Marcus Tullius Cicero, died 43 BC, Rome


I thought of Cicero's words this morning while I puttered around in my weedy little garden that gives me so much pleasure.  It doesn't ever yield an abundance of food, because we have little sunshine down here in our wooded little hollow.  But still, we manage to bring in a few tomatoes, lettuce, squash, egg plants, peppers and always herbs.  


Herbs are my favorite thing to grow.  I love to just stand out in the garden, brush them with my hands and sniff.  I feel the same way about tomato foliage, the most refreshing scent in the world.  I wish someone would bottle it.  I'd douse myself in tomato foliage cologne every night after my bath if I could. 


I took a few pictures this morning, of my garden and library.  I've finally got nearly enough shelves for my books.  When Mr. K's went out of business, I bought 13 of their shelves and lined them up in my living room, bedroom and studio. 

The foothills of the Cumberland Mountains where I live are as green as the Emerald Isle. If Ireland is the land of fifty shades of green than East Tennessee must be the land of a hundred.


If you've never been to beautiful East Tennessee, it's worth a visit, but don't come in the summer.  It's too hot.  And don't come in the winter, either. It's too gray and damp.  Come in the glorious spring or fall.  You won't be disappointed.    

Cherry tomatoes



Petunias and variegated sage



Guard duck. My friend, Barbara, gave me this guy.


Black Eyed Susans have volunteered all over my yard.  I'm glad they have.  They bloom all summer and they're so bright and beautiful.  My husband remarked just the other day how pretty they look blooming right outside the front door, and their color is spectacular against the purple basil. 


Impatiens in the foreground, purple basil in the background.  If you want to make a beautiful, simple salad, nothing looks prettier than lining a plate with purple basil leaves, arranging yellow tomatoes slices on top of them, then sprinkling with chopped fresh green oregano and tarragon.  Lovely! 


Red lettuce and thyme



Bones and skeletons enchant me.  This is the base of my 'skeleton tree,' a honey locust tree I've hung with all sorts of skeletons.  My son says it looks 'weird' but I think it's beautiful.  See those thorns?  You definitely do NOT want to tangle with a honey locust tree.  Those thorns are deadly sharp, which seems apropros for a skeleton tree. 


St. Frances under the pussy willows

We live in a temperate rain forest.  I love being surrounded by trees.  Standing on the driveway, looking west, and all I can see are the woods.



The shelves I bought from Mr. K's in a corner of my living room.  I write and work at the table on the right, next to the over flowing laundry basket.  Occasionally, I might try to pair some socks....but not often enough.  The single greatest mystery in my house is where, oh where, do all the socks go?  



I beg to differ with Cicero on one point; a garden and a library are not quite enough for me; I need a porch.  This is the screened porch where, weather permitting, I sit and drink coffee, write and think.  I haven't been out there in a while, the weather's been too hot.  My favorite season on the porch is the winter, with a hot drink and a wool blanket.  


Wherever you are, I hope you also have a garden, a library, and a porch. 

Be Well and Good Luck,

Martha Maria  

1 comment

  • Sharon Waters
    Sharon Waters
    What a beautiful place for creativity and opportunity! You are blessed!

    What a beautiful place for creativity and opportunity! You are blessed!

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