This past week in all the beautiful weather the gardens started to poke through. Walking to pick up my grandkids I took the time to take some shots. There are a few things that intrigued me besides the simple beauty of what I saw and I will share those here.
The first shot is an Autumn Joy Sedum. There is only one property that we maintain where I cut these down in the fall and that is because they increase the drifting of the snow and make the maintenance of the walk much harder just by their position and the sheer volume of them. Other than the above situations I too would leave them. There is a strange beauty in the stalk rising out of the snow. The texture and the colour are so contrasting. In a garden it is never just the beauty of colour and contrast that draws us though. There is something else about seeing a seed head rising above the snow, black on white, that affects us. Here I am at a bit lost to describe it and even poetry does not quite catch it. When we coach gardeners it this subtle beauty of their garden that we teach and try to draw out of them.
in a silver sky
seed heads in snow
The second and third shots are what we face when our garden starts coming alive. These are simple shots of coniferous branches starting to show through. I doubt this gardener, on seeing the green, rushed to expose it more. Imagine the silliness of getting a blow dryer and a tiny shovel. This would be as ridiculous as flipping the page of a calendar so that April shows though it is but March 12th. Thrilled as we are to see green and to see a garden emerge from winter we do not rush it. The progression of the melt is marked by these elements, they are the “x” on a day and a count down to another. There is a promise of longer good byes on the front walk as the days warm up. The barbeques and the shade. A garden all through the year is our calendar and a reminder of seasons no matter how simple it is. If one grows there own vegetables there is the added hope of the day coming when you will slice into a fresh garden tomato and have it stain the cutting board with its juiciness.
the bear sleeps
There hope is with every yard, whether you call it a garden or not, a power of nature and it’s seasons. It affects us always deeper than what is readily seen. We all know the negative effect on our senses of a pop can littered in the woods, a cigarette butt wedged in a crack or a cluttered alley but we cannot always describe the effect plants around us have as they go through their seasons. The first leaf that has fallen on your lawn throws a switch. The dew on the leaf of a Lady’s Mantle and the lone bloom on a Rambling Rose also speak. Soon Snow Drops will be poking their heads up next to the Sedums and they too will alter our tune. The action you take may be as simple as parking your heavy winter coat on a different hook; a hook a bit closer to the basement where it will eventually be stored. That sweater that was too bulky under a coat but perfect for Spring may be grabbed. In the case of my sister she will give her gardening frock that once a year wash ready for the season to come.
a simple frock
among the blooms
flowers get their dew