Sunday, June 26, 2005

Smiles Everyone, Smiles!

A First Nasturtium. Posted by Hello

I love this time of year. This particular moment, this sequence. The last week of June has raced upon us, as it always does, and in gardens everywhere, so much is happening.

Each rose bush bursts out with blooms, like a slow-motion preview of the fireworks we'll see next weekend. Tiny white multifloras on the bank to the meadow, hot magenta double blossoms on the sprawling bush in the tangle of grapes, two different pink hedges around the house, and a lovely yellow standard. Around them are drifts of dark purple spiderwort, and the occasional burst of pinky-purple cranesbill, and some fading yellow daylilies. Foxgloves are blooming all around us, but even their show goes too quickly they turn their efforts toward seed scattering.

And that's just the opening. There's such anticipation building. Everywhere you look, you can see the progress. Nearly every surviving African marigold plant has a flower bud on it. The sunflowers grow stronger and taller each day. Every day, the bee balm has a new set of leaves, a little higher above the bed...and I study it to see if this is the one that will open with the flower. Snapdragon plants tower. Lily buds are thickening, as their stems branch and seperate. Shasta daisies climb as their buds bulge into buttons. Seeds scattered randomly around have taken root and are starting to be recognizable: allyssum, cosmos, more marigolds. Campion buds are forming. And all around them, other, later-season perennials grow ever taller, saving their show(which for some means continuing to conceal their identity from me).

With a wave of heat coming at us, I've been spending a little more time watering the back garden. It's far enough away from the house that hoses seem impractical, and anyway, I prefer using a watering can. You can pay attention to more specific areas than with the spray of a house, I think. And it's very peaceful, especially in that earlier part of the day, when the suns rays are just beginning to spill into the meadow.

When it's all done, there's nothing like sitting back and just watching. The birds in the trees around the field, the ants crawling over rocks and between plants. The moths, butterflies and bees that fly from one plant to the next, seeing what's in season this morning. It's like a little city, made of green, a thriving metropolis of diversity.

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