Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In the Garden

Really, is there any lovelier garden flower than the peony? Zero upkeep except for staking, huge blossoms that last long when cut and carried inside by the armful to decorate your kitchen in extravagantly lush arrangements, sweet scent. I don't even mind the big black ants; if I was a lowly insect, I'd want to live inside their soft petals too. My roses need timely pruning, fertilizer and special-order ladybugs to eat the aphids. All my peonies need to thrive is my gratitude.

Sorry I didn't capture the false indigo in full bloom. It was gorgeous. Another low maintenance plant that astounds every spring by sprouting up four or five feet from the bare ground. Delicate blue blossoms on long curly stems.

Weed or no? The Chalet woman says yes, but I'm liking the color. You can see more false indigo to the side.

Only three of the eight alliums we enjoyed last year have returned and smaller than I remember. Do I need to fertilize these? I think the four who didn't even put up flower shoots were in too shady a spot. Still love what I got. Those purple balls on impossibly long stems crack me up. Two weekends ago we saw another version of this flower in the quiet walled garden tucked into the northwest corner of the Art Institute. The flower heads were enormous, composed of individual purple blossoms that looked like opening stars. The effect was purple fireworks, caught in mid explosion.

Weed? It resembles astilbe, but a giant honking version of that usually delicate flower.

Can you name this pretty spring flower?

Our kind neighbors replaced the old fence bordering our yards last month. The dad surprised us with a small gate so our girls can easily run over to play with their daughter, their new puppy and the playset. "It's the kind of neighborhood where you'll walk into someone's house to borrow ketchup," he had described when we first moved here. They're good people and we're lucky. It's a delicate balance of intimacy and tolerance to be neighbors that work well. I'm delighted when their six year old knocks on the door, usually bearing a tiny candy gift for Mia and Nora; I feel their trust and it feels good.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Hmmm. Could that little white flower by snowdrop? And that yellow flowering "weed" looks, indeed, like Ragweed. If you find yourself sneezing excessively or itching your eyes, you know what to pull!