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.