The Remnants of Blooms on Spring Flowers

Each Spring, as this first flush of the gardening season comes to a close, I find myself becoming a bit nostalgic, wandering around the garden, savoring the remaining spent blossoms on some of my favorite spring flowers. Why in Spring, you may ask, would I possibly experience a sense of nostalgia, perhaps even a tad of sadness, when I have two more seasons of robust gardening ahead of me?

Several answers come to mind. But I think the one that feels most authentic is the following: that as I get older, I exponentially appreciate the beauty of each of my flowering friends and their ability to share their yearly life cycles with me in such a generous way. Observing their ’passing on’ this year serves as a gentle reminder to me that I too am a living, organic part of this universe that is composed of an infinite amount of energy. Perhaps too, in my baby boomer years, I realize that I cannot afford to take one single day for granted. Intermittently, I will hear a still small voice inside of me whisper: “Enjoy this minute. Who knows how many more years you will have gardening?” 

The arching, rapidly climbing, delicate flowered violet colored bush (pictured above) charms all who come near it. I forgot the name of it but I do remember buying it from Heirloom Roses. It is a late bloomer: this year it  remained  tightly budded up while the rest of my roses finished their first bloom period. And then with great exuberance, overnight it seemed, it trumpeted its awakening with dozens of those delicate, purplish colored flowers popping open and cascading recklessly over the fence. The bloom period wasn’t nearly long enough to satisfy my insatiable thirst to take it all in: perhaps only two weeks. But it was at the tail end of its bloom period, sometime last week, just a day after the blooms were at their apex, that I stood gazing at this bush. And it is precisely at this stage of bloom, when the flowers were just beginning to wilt a smidgen, right before the the flowers began to scatter their petals on the ground, that I was overtaken with emotion due to the awesome nature of this specimen.

I’m also a sucker for the transparent silhouette of alliums as their robust bloom period come to an end. In the photo below,  Allium christophii still adds texture and a much appreciated vertical/rounded shape to the plants surrounding them. It will take a strong wind or heavy rain storm before I remove their stalks from my hillside garden.

 Lessons to be learned from my ramblings…..if there are any at all….on this cool, cloudy day in Pennsylvania: marvel at the natural beauty that surrounds you during each season. Don’t get so caught up or driven in the ‘end result’ of your garden that you forget to take time to inhale, with all of your senses, every morsel of nature that surrounds you. We are so lucky to be gardeners. It is a gift. It is up to each of us to treasure it.

About Fran Sorin

Fran’s book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, now considered a classic, was groundbreaking when published as no one had written about gardening in the context of creativity, spirituality, and transformation.

In addition to being a recognized garden expert and deep ecologist, Fran is a broadcaster, journalist, Ordained Interfaith Minister, and Soul Tender.

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7 Responses to The Remnants of Blooms on Spring Flowers

  1. Dee/reddirtramblings June 18, 2008 at 4:32 pm #

    Beautifully written essay. I agree that we need to savor every moment.~~Dee

    Dee-
    Thanks for chiming in…..am glad to discover that there are a slew of ‘savorers of nature’!! Happy Summer! Fran

  2. Pam/Digging June 18, 2008 at 6:10 pm #

    Thank you for reminding me to appreciate the present and not wish it away to fall. Though it’s easier to remember when I’m inside with the A/C on. ;-)

    Hey Pam-
    You have an excuse….living in Houston during the summer…well what can I say? Part of my childhood was in Dallas, so I know what it feels like! Fran

  3. Steve Silk June 18, 2008 at 9:53 pm #

    You are so right, Fran. There is a bittersweet edge to gardening, and you nailed it. It’s all about the “now”, and being present in each moment. The Japanese so love transient, fragile beauty–that’s one reason they are so enamored of delicate cherry blossoms—they have a special name for it. Wish I knew what it was!–Steve

    Steve-
    Thanks for your thoughts….and how right you are in talking about the ‘now’. So easy to ‘say’ but to live it is not a simple undertaking. Also, thanks for reminding me about Japanese gardens…..because of your note, I took out a book on my bookshelf about gardens of Japan….it is helpful in understanding the Japanese philosophy of nature and the shifts in it over time..fran

  4. Lisa at Greenbow June 19, 2008 at 12:41 am #

    Beautifully written Fran. One should never take now for granted. Savor each and every moment.

    Lisa-
    Thanks for your comment….isn’t that truth….and all it takes is practice, practice, practice! Happy Summer! Fran

  5. Jean Ann June 20, 2008 at 11:44 am #

    I have been experiencing something like that, too…our winter and spring has been so miserable that I fear we will only have a couple of months of summer…which means precious little time to enjoy my blooms before it all goes away again…

    Ahhh….Jean Ann….what I am trying to do this season is to not lament what little time I have but to make the time, even a few minutes, to enjoy each and every bloom…I feel a difference in myself be doing this! Fran

  6. Catherine, My Garden Travels June 21, 2008 at 12:59 pm #

    Now that I’m getting older, and don’t have the energy to plough through all those garden tasks. I now have to take the time to sit and rest between my garden chores, and enjoy the garden. Maybe it’s not so bad to be forced to slow down. I can enjoy all those benches I have placed around the gardens.

  7. Blackswampgirl Kim June 22, 2008 at 10:13 pm #

    I need these reminders, to slow down and savor the little things. Right now it seems as though all I can concentrate on is which of my many “to be finished” tasks is most obviously in dire need of my attention. Do I paint another section of fence so I don’t have to climb over the veggies to reach it, or do I plant the veggies because they absolutely cannot wait another minute in their tiny starter pots? Argh. :)

    I’m guessing… just a guess… that your rose might be ‘Veilchenblau’–and I admit that I may not have spelled that correctly, either. But it and the similarly-hued ‘Cardinal de Richelieu’ have been on my wantlist for a while now.