Beautiful Like A Firework

May 19, 2010

It changes so quickly. In weeks, or sometimes days, there is a bud, a bloom and then poof! It’s recharging for next year.

The columbine, which was so bright and vibrant just a week ago, is now dropping petals and changing into a seed head that will rattle and then drop tiny black seeds all over the garden. The allium is dropping its starry flowers and leaving behind green stems which really look like something from outer space. The clematis is also finishing its bloom cycle, the purple petals dropping and becoming unexpected splashes of color on the ground. The stigmas are unfurling and turning into those hairy spiders that keep the vine interesting well into the winter.

And now the peonies come, the white one reminding me of Blanche from A Streetcar Named Desire, fragrant and blowsy and rather loose in morals. I picture the “person” in this peony as dressed in a white filmy gown, with blonde hair tousled from sleeping in too late. The magenta peonies are just a little more buttoned up but still very sexy and loose, maybe Stella. The grow-through rings were again a failure, as I had to tie up the white ones this morning. Ran out of plant tape, so I’ll have to do the magenta ones tomorrow. (How can I run out of plant tape?) The lily of the valley is starting to die back as well.

And now the irises are looking like bird beaks pointing up towards the sun, narrow at the tip and full in the middle, swelling with purple. The red lilies are the same, buds now reaching out of the stems instead of nestling inside. The chives in the front are in full blooms, miniatures of those allium. Love to use the chives in sauce for steaks, and the flowers make such pretty accents in salads. Chives can be cut down and then come back to rebloom. They are also prolific self-seeders, so they show up in unexpected places each spring. Always a happy surprise.

The Joe Pye weed is huge this year, and the foxglove are growing bigger each day, now setting buds. The lamb’s ear on the back of the berm and under the bench has perked up and will survive the transplanting, I’m sure.

These blasts of color and fragrance, over so quickly, hit me this time of year especially. Eliza is finishing her junior year of high school, with only one more year to go. It will be a year of lasts, last fall play, last group interp, last musical, last concerts. My children are like the garden, with phases coming in, giving you a burst of brilliance, and then moving on to the next stage. I know that in life, Dominic and Eliza just passed the daffodils stages and are only at the hyacinth stage, but they will shortly be leaving me behind. Next fall, both of my babies will only have a room here, and not really an everyday home (tangent – I’ll get to clean under their beds, of which I’m a little scared, a little excited.) While I am so nostalgic for the daffodils, I love the hyacinths and also look forward to seeing the peonies, and the lilies and the irises, the fall clematis and all the wonderful experiences that take me through the year and through life. I look forward to seeing them blossom for many years to come.

And I need to water today.

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