Tuesday, June 26, 2012

There is a bird's nest precariously wedged between the side-door frame and the porch light above it. Yesterday a wild high-pitched chorus of chirps started from that general direction, would fall silent, then begin again. Mama Bird must be feeding her brood. I didn't want to disturb the domestic bliss. Instead, I found myself singling out a photo of my favorite garden statue of St. Francis with the birds. It has a chip or two, is showing its age. But all around us in the garden, the love goes on. Season after season.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The yellow ladyslippers down the block in the Memorial Garden along the shores of Little Traverse Bay are in full bloom. A member of the orchid family, the plant is known for its exotic pouch-like blooms. When insects wander into the heart of the showy flower, they cannot climb out again without fertilizing it. The stuff of fiction. Love, sex, passion and intrigue in the garden. Who would have thought it?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I just spent three weeks gardening with my Mom. She will be 95 in August and her sense of garden design is as wonderful as ever. Her front yard beds are on level ground. Navigating them is relatively easy. In back, she is coping with a short but steep berm. Pine needles, tree roots and layers of mulch and compost make the slope treacherous to navigate. Rather than stop gardening, she let the earth talk to her and gardens accordingly. Hostas thrive in the mixed shade. Vinca races toward the sun on the one end, but other groundcovers stay put. The birdbath was attracting large crows that drove out all the songbirds.She has installed a geranium pot instead. Gardening is not a constant as we age. Neither is life itself. Mom handles both with grace and ingenuity. A memory I will treasure always.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The sundrops are blooming in Wisconsin. Alongside them in my Mom's front garden, two stands of self-seeding "pinks" have reached their peak. Those sturdy, no-nonsense perennials take me straight back to my childhood and memories of plants that I have come to count among my friends. A member of the primrose family, sundrops punctuate the green of the garden like coarse-ground pepper on a summer pasta salad. Exotic hybrids may come and go, but sometimes the old familiar is best.