Thursday, June 2, 2011

5/30 Floral Runway



When the windows are open, which they are all the time now for most of a week, the scent of the lilac broadcasts inside. (Its favorite song is “Lust for Life.”) You can smell it everywhere now, particularly in the warm humid evenings. The perfume-counter scent saturates the air.
In the midst of our second week of warm weather – as if the divine stage manager had made an announcement and the veil of shadows fell away – a parade of early summer favorites are stepping up on the seasonal runway for their turn in center stage.
The fat orange poppies bending over the front sidewalk like a benediction on a world that passes by.
The blowsy, deep-pink tree peony blossoms say an exhausted goodbye. They pass from wrinkled to rumpled, collapsing like tired ballerinas and decadent old ladies.
The deep blue clematis, climbing the front porch trellis. Thick with vines and stems, it opens its big blue thumb-thick petals in time for Decoration Day weekend.
The striving pink foxglove peers over the rose bush, and the pink dianthus raises its skinny skin arms, scores over them, over its head.
Lagoons of pink-violet mazus. Working its way between the stones.
The mullein. Stalks of delicate white flowers, with a hint of pink veins on opening.
The Korean lilac against in the back. Its deep red-violet blossoms shout the first scent of summer.
Clusters of white flowers, opening in unison from a dozen different points, wherever it escaped being pulled up last year. White stars from tiny bulbs strong enough to raise strong, thin grassy stems and grow all over.
Sonya and I plant the warm-blooded members of the vegetable garden on Memorial Day weekend. I plant potatoes on a hot, humid Sunday afternoon. Deep rows, with mounds on top. She plants 2 cucumbers and 2 zucchinis. I plant two rows of bush beans and a row of soybeans, then a cluster of broccoli plants.
Sigh. Breathe the air. I plant the next generation of perennials, the argetum and the scented heliotrope, finishing off my new display bed.
And then the irises sweep away all previous impressions. Big showy yellows. Delicate blues. Slim, ice-blue Siberian blooms.
They take their turn. They bow. Take a good look. They won’t hang around for long.