|Wall flowers from flower mix planted last year|
As I write this I still have heat on, a fire in the woodstove, although we are promised a summer-like, near-eighty degree temperature today. I covered my basil and the container plantings the last couple days against the frost warnings. Even for Ohio, this fluctuation in temperature is a little untoward.
I went to a plant sale last weekend that turned out to be quite disappointing for me. I overpaid for two weak, tiny pepper plants and didn’t get any of the heritage/heirloom tomatoes I was hoping for; however, my husband and I went ahead and visited the Whetstone Park of Roses to see what was happening there.
Not many of the roses were blooming. Of the old roses, only an early yellow rose had its blooms strewn across its branches like a strand of yellow cream pearls. But the stroll through the garden was informative and lovely in other ways.
Gardens change. That seems to be the one truth about them over all the world, the one unchanging thing about a garden is that it will change. It is probably true about every other thing on earth, too, but it is most noticeable in gardens and in children, come to think of it. We see our mortality in them. But not just that, or it would be depressing instead of invigorating.
We are infused with hope and optimism when seeing children change and grow, as well as discover the bright and sunny side of life if we poke through a garden, even one grown seedy and weedy with neglect. In the Park of Roses, the garden is kept up and the changes are geared towards the public, improved for weddings and concerts, reworked and weeded for the many visitors that promenade through its walks.
In the Whetstone garden, a tree I remembered from the time I was a child, and later when my children explored its branches with curiosity, was cut to the ground. It was a very large contorted filbert sort of tree, not the size of the Harry Lauder hazels in my own garden. I now wish I had taken a photograph of that tree on one of my many visits to the park.
Some sad assortment of new things were planted around its memorial ground level trunk. I don’t know the story on its demise. Perhaps caused by a variation of some of the same terrible trunk damage I saw on a very mature copper beech tree elsewhere in the Rose Garden. Still standing, but the tree’s days are marked in its large branch splitting off and unsupported, and the bark damage around the base.
I don’t blame the caretakers of the park, because all too often blind vandals desecrate trees and other things which they neither understand nor value. Or it could be rampant deer, or rabbits who took a winter meal under cover of snow. Or just the vagaries of nature. As observed… gardens change.
I have been mildly irritated by how the weather has followed such uncharted ups and downs, but if a more reasoned state of mind is allowed its say, the crabapple tree bloom was spectacular. There were spring pictures of great beauty. The spring was different, but it wasn’t marred, just late and a bit strange.
It had its share of beauty, so far. I am not complaining.
The scent of apple blossom, Carlesii viburnum, wallflowers, and L. fragrantissima converged into a delightful breeze-blown and spirit lifting invitation to truly breathe. I took great, gulping, greedy breathes and stayed out in the yard just to let the experience of the mixing perfumery of God fill my soul. I love times like that. I didn’t work on the weeds, I didn’t grab a camera, I took no thought of the computer or blogging. I just lived it, and wrote it in my mind’s notebook.
It makes me feel free to let go the need to document, or improve, or somehow prove I lived that moment.
Though here I am, telling it to you.
And I do have some pictures of the days around that time, so the balance of freedom lets something be created, something be left to share and to revisit when the ephemeral feelings fade and seem less real when more of life crowds in.