Gratuitous Flower Shots

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Bear with me. As I separate from my home of 12 years, I must also separate from my garden. I don't talk about my garden much, but suffice it to say that I have built this entire garden from nothing. I have dug and composted and set ladybugs free in this garden. I have planted little cases of praying mantis eggs in the shrubs to encourage good organic bug eating. I am the daughter and granddaughter of gardeners.

While the showy annuals get their places in the front containers, and the small movable pots, the garden beds are reserved for my beloved perennials. Less showy, more reliable, my perennials have become old friends. They plug along with me year after year. Some years I get upset and rip them out of their spots when they have become a little to big for their britches (yes Lemon balm, I AM talking about you). Other years I move them around to encourage their profligation.

Because one side of my house is in shade most of the summer, I have become friends with the shade loving species (not hosta's- bleh). The cranesbill, the lady's mantle, the lamium, the goat's beard, the columbine, the bleeding hearts. For my heart lies with the flowers of spring. The plucky blues and purples. The lush succulent greenery. The showy pink and whites of the bleeding heart. I find these to be hopeful flowers. They are not the bright yellows and oranges of the rudibeckia's or the bright red of bee balm. They are not the white of daisy's or the hot pink of catchfly. They are not the white and purple echinacea I have so lovingly fostered for 12 years. They are not the scarlet oriental poppies I convinced a neighbor to let me have last year, or the cardinal flower I planted years ago for the hummingbirds to fight over. They are not the pink and purple lupines which have now seeded themselves and appear everywhere.

I won't see many of the summer and late summer flowers bloom this year. I am not planting my buckets of heirloom tomatoes, or my buckets of cooking herbs for next to the kitchen windows. Usually by this time each year, I have all of my window boxes filled with the hot pink and white geraniums I favor. Those buckets and window boxes all sit empty at the side of the porch. More than anything else, this signals to my soul that I am leaving this place. I visit my garden every day now. I walk through and say goodbye to these dear friends. It was in this garden that I suspected I was pregnant, as a little female hummingbird fearlessly hovered over my head for fifteen minutes in 1997. I stopped weeding and watched her, spellbound. It was magical.

I will create another garden, but not this garden.

11 Baleful Regards:

E. said...

Mein Gott, Dawn, I have tears standing in my eyes from reading this post! It's beautiful. I was getting a little misty then I came to the hummingbird part and that was it.

Savor your home while you're still there, and know that you'll build a wonderful new home when you get to Montreal.

Anonymous said...

Mmm... beautiful. I am so not a gardener so my one half-dead rosebush (the other succumbed last year) and I are jealous of your beautiful blooms. I know you will miss your garden, but you will have another chance to build new memories in Montreal.

Tiffany said...

your garden is beautiful. If you ever get bored feel free to pop over and spruce mine up.

Jaelithe said...


just . . . *sigh*

the post, like the garden, beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I can smell your garden from here. So lovely.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful fleurs. I'm finding that to be my favorite part of being responsible for a yard.

Table4Five said...

Lovely memories, lovely post. I am so jealous of your gardening skills. That planting bed I dug up by hand? Still empty, because I have no idea what to put there.

I loved the image of the hummingbird.

Sugarmama said...

I hear you on this one. I've only been working on mine for a little over 3 years now, but it's going to be hard to leave it when the time comes. (Which could be soon.) I also have a shade garden as well as a sunny perennial garden, but I don't plant much in the way of annuals except for rock roses and lantanas, which I love. And actually, we had such a mild winter that all my lantanas came back this year!

People have been advising me that if we move I can always plant a new garden and this can be something to look forward to. They're right, but you're right, too. It still won't be THAT garden.

Andrea said...

I'm not a gardener nor do I have the patience to become one. However, reading this, I wanted to be a gardner badly. You have a gift of putting people in the moment. This was beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. I don't have a garden, but I know just how you feel right now. Take lots of photos, maybe even do a video.
It's hard to be sad and happy at the same time. It feels very Lion King - circle of life to me. The thing that is getting me through it the thought that six weeks from now, It'll all be done. We'll be moved and probably mostly settled in the new place. Crazy to think that at the moment, isn't it? Hang in there.

halloweenlover said...

Beautiful. Can you take some favorites with you? I can imagine how hard it is to leave. Your house sounds perfect. Especially the lake.

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