Tropical Storm Elsa brought much needed rain into the garden today with for us none of the wind or worry such a storm can spawn. The sun just broke through. I spent part of the rainy afternoon sifting through some summer garden pictures searching for longer views of the plantings instead of the closeups I usually prefer. Applying effects from an app called Waterlogue softened the scenes into watercolor paintings. With filter names such as Soaked, Verdant, Natural, Eventide and Bold the images make the garden appear better groomed than actually it is, more dreamy.
A little over three months ago I would have risen early on Sunday morning and prepared to teach a gentle yoga class, which I always concluded with a guided meditation. Some classes are resuming this week but on a limited schedule and with a much different format. I feel it will be a long time before I am back in that world, although I am optimistic it will happen.
I spent this early morning photographing the garden in the midst of calm and solitude. Quiet but for birds running through their morning routine. Even bees were asleep. There is a clarity the garden invites, a stillness not still. Presence, knowing, awareness. The garden makes it possible.
Our house faces east and hides the morning sun from the back garden. Light slips in first from either side softly tapping the back fence and working its way into the western border.
Western Border – Dahlias
Here is one of the sleeping bees.
Southern Border – Sweet Pea and Daylily
Western Border – Oakleaf Hydrangea
Hope your Sunday has been full of light
Ruby Slippers, which opens pure white and then turns red, is shifting its color.
My husband and I began a six-week mindfulness meditation class yesterday. Among the exercises for the first week is one to choose an activity that you often do in automatic pilot and pay special attention to the activity, to what is happening right now.
My mind jumped immediately to the garden, thinking a stroll around the garden would be a great activity for noticing what is happening in this moment, becoming aware of sights, sounds, textures, colors. But this is expressly one activity that I never do in autopilot. Being in the garden naturally leads to curiosity, exploring, slowing down and savoring each moment.
Here is a sampling of the garden in early June, a few things that help me pause and just notice.
What are you savoring in your garden this June?
The garden at this point in June seems like an entirely new one—so different from the early spring palette. A salmon-orange Gladiolus from years ago brashly turned up in the Southern border today. I almost admired it for being so bold, but in the end I cut it and placed it in a nice vase indoors. Beebalm is in full bloom, Echinacea is maturing in many parts of the garden and last year’s Allium ‘Drumstick’ is back. All are attracting bees. A hummingbird visited the beebalm yesterday. There have been a few other hummingbirds this year, but now that the beebalm is blooming perhaps there will be many more.
A Foxglove mystery may be solved. This Foxglove has been in the garden since 2008 or 2009 and I thought it had caramel in the name, but never could find the tag. The coloring is creamy when the flowers first appear. Inside the flowers are yellow with reddish-brown veins and a hairy lip. Today I researched it a bit and hope I have it identified properly now. Could this be Digitalis ferruginea (‘Gelber Herold’, ‘Yellow Herald’, Rusty Foxglove)?
Today the weather was clear, hot and very humid, reaching 93°F. before severe thunderstorms passed through this evening. The winds overturned a bench and a flowerpot, but otherwise things seem ok for us. Some of our neighbors are reporting trees down, cable service lost and even roof damage.
Irises and Spiderwort
Despite the heat I chose today to dig up some of the dozens and dozens of Spiderwort that have aggressively expanded throughout most of the borders. I had to dig up many irises in order to get to the roots of the Spiderwort, so now there is a lot of work to replant some of the irises and find a good home for the rest. Fortunately the high temperature tomorrow will be a nice 81°F. so the work should be enjoyable. The irises have needed division for years, but actually they bloomed incredibly well this spring anyway. The amount of Spiderwort I managed to dig today is just a small portion of the total I want to remove.
This white one looked so innocent and beautiful this morning. Actually this particular clump has not spread like the others, but it is getting very large.
A variety of birds fill the garden with color and song. Fireflies or lightning bugs have been out in the evenings for several weeks. Frogs sing frequently and incessantly, though I have not seen one in the garden. A couple of little bunnies are nibbling Thyme in the meditation circle. No sign yet of the 17-year cicadas.