Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Come to the Garden Alone

while the dew is still on the roses.  (Sing along, you know the words)

Yesterday there were thunder storms and rain for a good part of the day.  Today, just as dawn was breaking,  before the cluttered aural tapestry of urban living began it's tyrany, before starlings started  jockying for position at the feeders I walked into the visible silence of my morning garden.  We love summer evenings but this exquisite moment surpassed even those.  You know this time, nature's fleeting changing of the guard from night to morning.  Brugmansia's evening perfume still heavy in the still air, the first lilies of the year mingling their scent with  sweet peas in a reverie of olfactory delight.  Only the sound of water gurgling in the pond.  A high, light blanket of clouds created a gentle light.  Tools still locked away,  free of thoughts of garden tasks I ventured out, camera in hand, to enjoy my garden.

A couple of reasons why I can't get rid of Alchemilla mollis.

Seldom do I actually just walk around my garden without a task in mind; plant this, weed that, cut something down, stake the delphiniums BEFORE they flop over, etc. Today, in this magic moment, for the first time this summer, I just looked and enjoyed.  I hope you do, too.

Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi' outside
 and inside.  Nocturnal fragrance factory!

The season's first lilies whose fragrance is, for me, the very essence of summer.

 Podophyllum delavayi

The white business around the pond is an electric fence.  I hate the way it looks but it keeps the racoons and herons away.
New bamboo culms
 Who doesn't love a summer vacation by the C?

Most would call it overplanted - I like to think of it as exuberant.

Meconopsis paniculata; a favorite evergreen foliage plant with golden fur that glows in the low winter sun.  Oh, and it blooms, too.
 Solanum quitoense

Tropaeolum tuberosum climbing through Schefflera taiwaniana

Those live traps catch the darndest things.

Trevesia palmata 'Micholitzii' leaves look like snowflakes!
Sungold tomatoes add a cheery orange note.

Hushed in, and curtained with a blessed dearth of all that irked her from her hour of birth with stillness that is almost paradise - Christina  Rossetti

 Hope you enjoyed this peaceful morning, too!
O Beauty, out of many a cup
You have made me drunk and wild
Ever since I was a child,
But when have I been sure as now
That no bitterness can bend
And no sorrow wholly bow
One who loves you to the end?
And though I must give my breath
And my laughter all to death,
And my eyes through which joy came,
And my heart, a wavering flame;
If all must leave me and go back
Along a blind and fearful track
So that you can make anew,
Fusing with intenser fire,
Something nearer your desire;
If my soul must go alone
Through a cold infinity,
Or even if it vanish, too,
Beauty, I have worshipped you.

Let this single hour atone
For the theft of all of me.

Sara Teasdale

But he bids me go, nagging voice I know, that blog's not going to write itself. Everybody join in on the chorus:  And he walks with me and he talks with me... 


  1. wow!! sounds like a wonderful morning. I agree exuberant! I have this internal dilemma that I face. While I love the look of a well planned out "designed" garden, I don't know that I could ever have one. I love plants too much. And well, it can often look like a designer built the garden rather than a gardener living and working it. When the two meld together there is often harmony, but how often does that happen!? alas, exuberant is my look too. The lilies just opened here too and its wonderful. My brugmansia is in too much shade I think and has not grown very much. I have been enjoying the foliage though.

    1. It was a wonderful morning. I know what you mean about the two melding. Loree's garden is a great example of plant passion melded with excellent design sense. I don't know how she has so many cool plants and still keeps it all looking so clean and orderly - amazing! I was at Flower World taking pictures yesterday and thought of you! They have so many palms (outdoor and indoor) that I couldn't count them all. Hope the pictures turned out o.k. so I can post about them.

  2. Wait just a second...Trevesia palmata 'Micholitzii'??? What? Where was this beauty hiding when I visited? It's gorgeous!

    And would I be correct in assuming that's a Rhodocoma capensis in the photo after the Solanum? I passed one up at Cistus yesterday (again) but I feel that the purchase is inevitable someday soon. Would you recommend it?

    As for peaceful I don't know...I was too excited looking at the fabulous plants!

    1. Trevesia was in the bishop's weed beed. I love that stuff because I can just plop plastic pots on top of it and it grows around and hides them. Great for those indoor/outdoor plants.

      Yup, that's a Rhodocoma capensis - also there when you visited. I have a love hate relationsip with them. I've had some last for a few years and some not so long. Some have loved sitting in my pond and others seemed to prefer drier situations. A nice young man at Cistus told me that often they are so pot bound that hardiness in a pot becomes an issue. When I think about it, the ones that have lasted longest for me were planted into much bigger pots than what they came in. Linda Cochran has great luck with hers staying perfectly green in the winter, Heidi at Dragonfly had one in the ground in her garden that got quite brown in the winter but then came back. I'll be posting soon about a garden here in Tacoma where it's grown in a sheltered spot against a wall and has been green and lovely for many years and it's over 5 feet tall. So mine is in a pretty big pot and in a fairly sheltered area so I'm hoping for the best. You should get one (always my advice about any plant.) Jungle fever has them in 4" pots for 6.50. I got one earlier in the year, put it in a gallon pot and it's growing like crazy.

    2. Now I'm starting to think I've lost my mind (too many plants and plant conversation pinballing around in there)...we've talked about Rhodocoma capensis before haven't we? I saw smaller containers at Cistus...should have grabbed one of those, instead I was rationalizing the bigger purchase for maximum impact.

    3. Go for the big one! I think that if you can throw it in the shade pavilion and keep it watered during the winter, it'll be great. Those 5 gallon pots are really rootbound though so I'd pot it up.

  3. You have nice details.. Two legs in a flowerbed. Whose? And that fat David (the head like Michelangelos David statue has, but..) Funny things. Beautiful flowers, a lot of them and fine pictures!

    1. Thank you so much. I like to laugh in my garden.

  4. So much interesting and beautiful stuff to look at. Great garden objects (if that's the right word), especially the gnome in a birdcage and fat David. So many great plants, I really like the yellow brugmansia and the different types of clematis.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the stuff and the plants. I have fun with it.

  5. Thanks for this wonderful walk through your garden! I really enjoyed it. That was one of my dad's favorite hymns. Where did you get your electric fence? I need one of those for my stream, maybe it will keep the raccoons out. Maybe it'll convince them they don't want to spend any more time in my garden because of its bad juju. That Trevesia is cool, kind of like a weird mutant Acanthus.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the walk. I got the electric fence kit at Hoshi Koi just off River Road. The lady who runs the place suggested it and it has been quite effective. I had tried the electric eye water squirting thing but the racoons figured out where it would shoot and entered the pond from another angle. I swear that one of them got out a bar of soap and was enjoying the shower. It's hard to tell from the picture of the single leaf that Trevesia is in the aralia family and resembles its cousins Fatsia and Schfflera in that it has large petioles emerging from a main trunk ending in a single leaf. I got this one from Dragonfly Farms a few years ago & it came from San Marcos Growers. Sometimes Logee's has them if you call and ask.


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.