Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Begins in the Garden: Eveything's Still Perfect



            Of course it's not, but we can still pretend it is. No big disasters, dying specimen plants, that sort of thing. Any spring disappointments, or failures of return after a dry summer and a cold winter, have all been all grown over.
            Sunny June weather and enough water in the earth solves all problems. At least temporarily. And 'temporary' is where we live.
            Day lilies are opening up on the early side this year. The first stella d'oro blossoms preceded the summer solstice. The front garden is showing dark pink roses, a strongly lavendar crop of lavendar-- a color by far the best when it first comes out (second photo). A fresh second round of our explosion-purple clematis is also climbing the porch in the front garden (last photo).
            The yellow rose-shaped blossoms of the primrose (third photo down, taken of a colony of these flowers in the back garden) are everywhere. They spread themselves and I let them cover spots where other perennials find it hard to get a footing. The latest colony is glowing in the raised square of earth beside the front yard maple I keep trying to make bloom in the desert of tree roots and thin soil. This is unforgiving weed country. Even pachysandra struggles there. This year I'm enjoying the place's yellow period in early summer.
            White Shasta daisies (fourth photo) are having a strong year too. The blossoms look healthier. At times I think the entire local 'garden world' is a little healthier after a cleansing, snow-heavy winter. It's a theory. A few weaker plants, in some cases specimens that have barely managed to hang in there for years, were just put clean out of their misery. Possibly some plant diseases that take a bite out of certain perennials every year died back enough to make a difference. For whatever reason, the daisies are shining.
            Some seriously dark-red roses (sixth photo, taken by Anne with water drops on the petals), the mini-plants transplanted from a lingering decrepitude in a crowded situation elsewhere, are a shiny red this year. They managed to bloom this year even before the rose-eaters have taken an single bite out of their leaves.
            Other plants, even those not yet in flower, or already passed, are shooting their leaves up with chlorophyll. The scores of tints of green, and the variety of blossoms behind them (seen in the panorama photos).
            Caught in a sea of others, spiky red astilbe blossoms rise up from the crowd (group shot, top photo). The bi-colored leaves of the dogwood (healthier after a rescue intervention last year) hang over colonies of smaller folk (ninth photo).
             A thick crowd of low yellow blossoms of coreopsis moonbeam opened last week (fifth photo).
            The spirea shrub (seventh photo) grows behind the weeping cherry, its dense dark pink composite flowers leaning out over the brick path. We usually have to cut it back and then tie up to the tree to keep the circular path clear enough to have a prayer of walking around it.
            Meanwhile white flat-topped blossoms of achillea (yarrow) flower in the semi-shade border of the flower island (eight photo).
            Two potted varieties of a favorite annual, hibiscus (saving pics of these for next time), are also feeling their oats.
            After a rainy period last week, we got a new supply of bright, clear, dry air one morning and I ran outside to see what the light would tell us. The result was -- I took a lot of pictures. What a surprise.
            I can't help wondering if there's some synergy between the sky above and the plant energy below. Last Thursday's Boston Globe had a front page photo of northern lights glimpsed in Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. Dark skies north of Boston apparently had a good chance of glimpsing this stunningly bizarre phenomena. The sports section front also had a picture of the deep pink cloud bank over Fenway Park.
            That cloud bank was everywhere. You could see it in the parking lot coming out of the Quincy YMCA. You could see it on the Hingham shore, on the shores of Kingston, in Hull.
              The skies, I think, are celebrating the long days of what an earlier agrarian society called "midsummer."