Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Secret Garden...

That's what my art students called it.

About twenty years ago, I began an ongoing project. I wanted to see if I could get bloom in my garden twelve months out of the year. Now this is a very difficult thing. I have extremely poor soil, and so, have composted like crazy. I don't have the money to put into annuals; therefore, I am limited to hardy perennials. All of the plants that I mention here are extremely hardy in the Deep South. If a plant is going to live on my hill, it has got to be tough. As they say... Root Hog or Die!

Being an artist, I LOVE gaudy colors in the garden. The brighter, the better. I love to listen to the birds sing in the early morning. I love to watch the butterflies and the hummingbirds working on the blossoms during the day. At night I love to hear the frogs, crickets, and cicadas serenading life.

Every season has its own special joy. I think of each month by the flowers that are in bloom, and the scents in the air.

January is when the Paper White Narcissus begins to bloom against the backdrop of a gray and brown winterscape, and the unsurpassed fragrance of Sweet Olive promises that, like its tiny blooms, Spring is just hiding.

February is when the old fashioned, yellow Daffodils come out, but in a winterscape that is no longer... quite so gray or brown. The differences are so very subtle.

March is when the fancier varieties of Narcissus and early Iris begin their blooms. By now, we are seeing the faintest indications of green here and there, and the tips of the highest branches seem... somewhat fuller, and not at all gray against a clear blue sky.

The first of April is when the Redbud, Dogwood, Azaleas, Wisteria, Confederate Jessamine, and German Bearded Iris are at their heights. The tree tops are chartreuse lace, and the air is filled with perfumes to shame a Paris designer.

As April progresses into May, the Amaryllis come into their red and white glory, and the Daylilies begin to bloom while tree leaves turn to emerald. By the first of June, the Daylilies are the multi-colored jewels of the garden, each with its own fragrance, ranging from lemon to cinnamon.

Well, it is now the end of June. The trees all have deep green leaves. The Daylilies are past their prime and will only bloom sporadically for the rest of the year. What else has been happening?

June has also had white, blue, and pink Hydrangeas. Subtly fragrant, pink Cashmere Bouquet, and outrageously scented Gardenia have dominated the senses.

All these are now gradually fading. But on their heels, the hot pink Summer Phlox has begun to take center stage. By day, these flamboyant beauties are irresistible to both hummingbirds and butterflies. But by night, their delicate fragrance fills my garden for my walks with the Supreme Pasha Zack and his harem girl, Maxi.

It sounds like I live in a paradise. To me it is. Most of these plants have either come down through my family, or have been passed along from friends. Each has special memories of the loved ones from whom they came. There are worse ways to be remembered.

Share your flowers while you can, and treat your senses.


Writing Science Fiction Romance, and gardening
Real love in a Real Future

No comments: