Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pink Peonies that My True Love Gave to Me

(Pink peonies for the lady's Southern garden.)

I just read about Clare Cooper Marcus, a UC Berkeley professor who has written about the home in her book House as a Mirror of Self. I don't know why I hadn't read about her research until now, but it's something worth exploring. She using Jungian theory to explore how our homes speak to who we are. Home magazines never seem to make that a point likely because if people realize that home comes from within they'd stop spending so much money trying to emulate someone else's world.

It's nearing winter but I'm thinking about gardens. I've been dreaming of a garden I once had the pleasure of experiencing years ago. I tended to its lettuces and tomatoes, plucking leaves and fruit as each meal required. I long for a garden though I know with the granite dome on which our house sits this is far from a possibility. Living in Mississippi I was surrounded by gardens and their happy gardeners. Clare Cooper Marcus' latest intrigue is how gardens heal, a theory I'd like to explore in tandem with my understanding of homes. (I think about this now and I can't think of a single crumudgeonly gardener so gardening must have a positive effect on disposition.)

When I moved to Atlanta and began assessing my new residence I had dreams of planting hydrangeas (in honor of Chris' parents), forsythia (in honor of mine), and peonies. I had once seen peonies at the Botanical Gardens in Brooklyn and have ever since imagined their soft petals a part of my personal landscape. A few months ago I spotted the neighbor's righteously overgrown pink peony bushes and decided it was sign to plant some of my own. While we haven't progressed beyond the threshold of our home, perhaps in the next planting season I'll have my peonies planted firmly in the soil of Atlanta just as I plan to be by then.

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