Yesterday I went out to the garden to pick basil before the sky let loose with a gully washer. Bees were buzzing around the squash! A hummingbird was deriving the maximum benefit from the red flowers of the Scarlet Emperor Beans and the pink sweet pea against the house.

That tiny little garden out there is, in its way, as magical as the Big Empty. The other day I picked two green beans from Li Bai and ate one raw. It was incredibly sweet. I’ve never tasted a green bean like that. I almost felt like it was saying in its bean way, “Thanks for planting us, Martha.”


Down the blue mountain in the evening, 
Moonlight was my homeward escort. 
Looking back, I saw my path 
Lay in levels of deep shadow…. 
I was passing the farm-house of a friend, 
When his children called from a gate of thorn 
And led me twining through jade bamboos 
Where green vines caught and held my clothes. 
And I was glad of a chance to rest 
And glad of a chance to drink with my friend…. 
We sang to the tune of the wind in the pines; 
And we finished our songs as the stars went down, 
When, I being drunk and my friend more than happy, 
Between us we forgot the world. 

Li Bai

30 thoughts on “Magic

  1. That garden is looking great, but remember, some green beans might have a hidden ingredient that does not appeal to humans. However, your beans are almost human, they all have names. Don’t you feel just a little bit guilty when you eat their children?

    • No. I don’t feel guilty at all because I know and THEY know that I will let some of them mature and give me more seeds. They are very aware that they wouldn’t even be here if I hadn’t planted their parents 3 years ago, harvested the seeds and then planted them this past April. All six of us — me, Li Bai, Tu Fu, Li Ho, Bai Juyi and Wang Wei — are cool with the cycle of bean life. And yeah; the raw baby bean I ate made my mouth a little sore, but it’s OK now. I don’t hold that against them. It’s just their way of ensuring that they have a chance to mature. I think they might even know that they fascinate me and I kind of love them. ❤

  2. Sounds like the garden is starting to produce! Sparky thought he planted pole beans but turns out only two are pole beans and all the others are bush beans. I think he is coming around to the idea of just going with the bush beans next year – they were super producers (to the point I was sick of eating green beans) and the pole beans have yet to give more than one green bean per plant! Hope the weather gets cooler – for Bear’s sake.

    • It’s cooled down and we’re getting afternoon rains. That should last a while. 🙂 I haven’t planted these beans for beans. Just out of love and fascination, but I plan to eat them this year. You do need a lot of pole beans to get a handful, though.

  3. A beautiful garden and a beautiful poem — both meant for each other! How do Bear and Teddy like the garden, now that they are used to it?

    • They are pretty effectively fenced out, but if they wanted to they could break down the barrier. I think they’ve come to understand that those plants are MY plants. Bear is now digging again since she got meds for her shoulders and I’m glad, even though she’s not digging where I want her to. I’m just glad she feels like digging again. ❤

      • I’m so glad that Bear is feeling better, even though it’s because of meds. The digging is a good sign — and when she’s in pain is not necessarily the time for her to be trained as to where to dig. And I’m sure she’s walking with you, too, even if more gingerly. The world seems to be looking up at least a little!.

  4. Love the poem. And the photos, especially the one with bear photobombing ❤

    One of the wildflowers I get to enjoy here is wild sweet pea (aka vetch), with beautiful purple flowers. You're inspiring me to add some bean plants to my garden next year.

  5. A magical adventure in the land of beans and flowers ❤️ – its own tiny but mighty world. Love the slide show, esp that one with the sunflower and Bear peaking in. Sweet poem at the end too 🙂

  6. Gorgeous. Love your garden and the flowers! Right now, our garden is mainly leaves, and we are looking forward to adding flowers at some point.

Comments are closed.