All is calm, All is bright


Amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I long or a few stolen moments that are just for me. This morning, without plan or preparation, I had my moment. My hands were in the dirt, my pruners were in my back pocket, Christmas music was playing softly, my coffee was warm and I was wrapped up with my topiary.

I am obsessed with topiary. Even after multiple failures (we won't discuss the backyard, Boxwood bunny, I attempted for three years) or the Rosemary trees (plural) I have composted because my house is not remotely Mediterranian in climate. The ivy wreath that took years to fill the frame, then toppled over into a mass of cracked pot and dirt.

I never tire of trying.

Perhaps it is their formal form that I love with all that structure reminiscent of the Gardens of Versaille and Ladew Topiary Gardens (one of my most favorite places, on the planet).

Maybe it is their green-ness and the fact that December, in Pennsylvania, is gray and dark. Their shades, ranging from fern to forrest, lime to laurel, brighten up my space and seem to breathe light and joy, into the air. Or it could be their scent: spicy, minty Rosemary, powerdery-floral Lavender , energizing citus-y Lemon Cyprus and peppery Myrtle.