“The old cobbler had believed in something he called "the signature of all things"-namely, that God had hidden clues for humanity's betterment inside the design of every flower, leaf, fruit, and tree on earth. All the natural world was a divine code, Boehme claimed, containing proof of our Creator's love.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, The Signature of All Things
There is, at times, an advantage to being a few weeks behind everywhere else when it comes to gardening. I can ooh and ahh over Rosemary's garden over at Share My Garden or Janet's at The Gardener's Cottage weeks, nay months, before my own blooms.
Even here in New Brunswick, I can see what's about to come into bloom in my own garden about two weeks sooner if I only go downtown. So really, you get to enjoy the season that much longer.
In my little corner of the world, we are starting to slip into summer and what was a slow march to glory in the cooler June days has become a quick step, a dizzying paso doble, as one flower passes off the mantle of star to the other.
This week begins the week of the Peony.
The peony is almost everyone's favourite flower.
Unlike the rose, it is almost carefree (except for the two that need to be moved this summer as they will not bloom due to too much shade...), seems to get hardier and hardier and more prolific as the years pass and fills every vase to over-flowing...
I counted yesterday and I have 15 on my acreage, all in varying stages of coming into bloom. I need more. Can there ever be enough?
The first to bloom is always my most dramatic beauty, the Queen, who is blessed with one of the few spots of full sun on our property:
What I love about peonies, besides the myriad of varietals available, is that every stage is equally lovely, from the tight balls of colour fairly straining to burst forth...
to the tentative unfurling...
to the show:
The peony is the showgirl of the garden, and she earns her keep.
While the Bachelor's Buttons are almost riotous in their display (look at me! look at me!), the peony just has to be.
And the peonies arrive in the nick of time, just after the snowball bushes are spent, evidence of their brief and glorious lives everywhere:
And while the bridal veil spirea have a very Anne of Green Gables sense about them...
and the Irises their stately disarray
There is only one plant in the garden right now that can compete with the peonies and that is BUTCH:
There is something so delightful about watching the garden unfold, week by week, day by day. It is different every year and when you are sitting out in it, enjoying an ice tea and reading a good book, you are grateful for the hard work you've put into it.
Last night was hot and after watching a movie, we went out and sat in the gazebo, waiting for the fireflies to come out, which they did. In the moonlight, my garden is a mysterious place, a place of secrets. I cannot help but agree with the cobbler in the Elizabeth Gilbert quote above. (BTW - I am reading and LOVING that book but more on that when I finish it!)
Summer is fleeting and we must enjoy it!
Some like a garden where the hand of art
Appears in every terrace, walk, and bed,
Where vases stand in even rows apart
And shrubs are taught symmetric shade to spread:
But little art I wish; enough for me
This garden where the flowers grow in sweet
Fair is each budding thing the garden shows,
From spring's frail crocus to the latest bloom
Of fading autumn. Every wind that blows
Across that glowing tract sips rare perfume
From all the tangled blossoms tossing there;
Soft winds, they fain would linger long, nor any
But sweeter far in this old garden close
To loiter 'mid the lovely, old-time flowers,
To breathe the scent of lavender and rose,
And with old poets pass the peaceful hours.
Old gardens and old poets, happy he
Whose quiet summer days are spent in such sweet
-John Russell Hayes, The Old Fashioned Garden
Have a lovely Sunday and: GO NETHERLANDS!!!!!!!