Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Springtime again!

A few pictures from my garden on a raining spring evening.

Once again the Dogwood blooms. This small tree takes a pagoda-like space in the middle of my back garden. Ever since I salvaged it and moved it (twice), it has settled in quite well if I do say so. Don't look at those weeds below there... Next warm day, they'll be gone.... Maybe..

and the Sedum's bright gold runs into the purple Heuchera. I let the orange California Poppies volunteer where they will and I'll thin them out later if I need to.

Right beside that I've begun to turn the soil, removed an old Spanish Lavender and I'm going to plant three Blue Berry shrubs. I'll need to make their growing space a whole lot more acidic if the blueberries are going to make it. More Coffee! Coffee grounds turned in to the soil will help...

I've had this water bowl here a few years and the stand of Japanese Iris coming up around them needs to be thinned. I'll do that after this season is done. My red-twig Dogwoods not cut back again this year? I missed the window of time and just couldn't bring myself to do it. A few selective thinning cuts and it's back into manageable shape.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

FROM the desk of Sara Lawrence...

This early Spring is helping me meditate on a few things... First, I'm seeing the significance of emergent buds. Like complex origami the unfurling of leaves and blooms is a stunningly beautiful event. In Japanese chabana (tea ceremony flower arrangements) the focus is on the bud more than the flower, where there is more sense of yearning, effort, and mystery in its progress towards opening. Second, I'm loving moments that highlight this experience whether that be a patch of snow drop bulbs lifting out of a bed of quite moss or a quince blooming on the side of a cement garage wall, keeping the background simple for spring seems to help me focus on the miracle that is unfolding in front of me...
At home I've been translating this into my thoughts about Spring containers. By my front door I have an old gnarled archtostaphylos media that winds it red peeling bark sideways out of a sea green container. I under planted it with two Erica ca. 'Golden Hue' that reach out like yellow plumes of smoke and form a soft yet bright contrast. Inside this golden haze I tucked one Helleborus niger. That's it. I experience each part of spring through that Helleborus when I get home in the evening, its' buds reflect what is happening around it in the Tulip Magnolia, or the fern fiddle heads, but I don't feel rushed to take it all in at once.
This weekend I spent a few hours combing my sweaters. Okay laugh, but because I did it I feel totally different about my whole wardrobe that was looking worn ragged with pilling. My sweetheart called it my spring cleaning and that reminded me that this is what the season is all about. Each season has its own feeling and special magic. Spring is about taking notice of the change, preparing the stage, and enjoying that moment. You don't have to rush summer into your garden. Instead, try quieting your pallet and honing your understanding of what is beautiful.