We have very different views of flowers, Elise and I. Her gardens are spectacular; an ever-changing array of hue and texture. They are planted to bring a constantly changing palate of color as they cascade toward the walkways and welcome you around every corner. I watched in awe, the greenhouse filled with trays of seeds, an elaborate laboratory of heating pads and misting systems. Herbs and flower shoots carpeted the tiers of moist earthen beds. The UPS driver delivered sturdy boxes of blooming shrubs and roses, Before the soil was warm, the start of this year’s bounty spilled over in the glass house.
My 10 years on this rocky patch of mountain has yielded different style and results. The beds produce whatever survived from last year’s blooms. I scatter the Peony, Lilly and Rudbeckia seeds liberally each Fall. Birds contribute by moving hardier species around from bed to bed. Container gardening is a better bet for expected results. I have never learned how not to over pack a suitcase or a window box.
But what I am after is the result that ends up in my many offerings to the Goddess of summer blooms. Tiny arrangements fill odd containers and litter every surface. Later, when the leggy producers bloom, I will cart out the deep, clay pots lovingly wrought by friends and loved ones. For now it is the joy of seeing what the garden has to give.
We differ in that once she turns her back on her masterpiece, Elise doesn’t cut and arrange flowers. “They just die!” True, but they die in the garden too. I carefully pilfered some early peonies to perfume Gunther’s room and a few stray sprigs to arrange on the dining room table. My promise to Elise was she would never notice them missing from the garden, and I would change out the wilting blooms regularly. She acquiesced and even put out a special vase one day for filling.
At my house, I am on a 4th of July, Fireworks and Red-White-&-Blue theme at the moment…