03 Jul The Messy Garden – A Photo Essay
The lavender is blooming, the mint is growing like Audrey the Venus flytrap and summer is racing down the street like its sandals are on fire.
Recipes can wait. The garden? It’s more time sensitive and never rests.
After the rain today, I went outside to pick lavender to dry for baking. I ended up chasing bees. Two, or possibly three, plump bees hovered and swooped amidst the purple stalks, veering from bud to bud faster than my shutter could capture. A hundred blurry photos of bees and only a handful of worth saving.
They disappeared as quickly as they arrived. Did they go back to the hive or onto my neighbour’s delphiniums?
I stopped to smell the lavender these bees found so enticing. Before I knew it, I was taking photos of raindrops on roses. I walk past these every day and admire them, but see them en masse — a solid pink cloud hovering above the pathway or a band of pink marauders threatening to tear the clothes from the line. Not until a camera lens slows me down, do I see the beautiful, ephemeral imperfection of my garden.
From a distance the roses look perfect. Up close you can see how the rain has battered them. The one on the bottom left lost the fight, and beyond the frame, the path below them is littered with soggy petals.
The garden is in a constant state of flux. Some roses come into bloom just as its neighbour fades and wilts.
The spider wort faces the deluge bravely but will close up before nightfall like a child who is brave until he thinks of monsters under the bed.
The once-small patch of evening primrose has thrown itself across the garden bed with exuberance. Its yellow blooms glow like tiny suns despite the overcast sky.
The tattered tips of this modest daisy are easy to overlook, as are the tiny holes where the bugs have nibbled. No wonder it’s hiding behind the overbearing leaves of the hosta.
Nothing here is perfect. At least, not for long. In a day or two, these robust pink roses will dissolve into petals on the pathway. By that time the next round of buds will have opened.
Deeper into the garden, the service berries ripen in stages, ensuring the birds (and squirrels) have a non-stop supply. A free lunch. Until one of them pays the cat that lurks at the tree’s base.
The skies split again. As I head indoors, I meet one of the few constants in the ever-changing garden. She never outgrows her place. She never drops anything that needs sweeping or raking or tidying up. She remains at her post. Rain or shine. Summer or winter.
The symbol of beauty, love and prosperity. What better sentry to watch the garden than Venus?