There are gardeners who see their gardens as works of art, paintings by nature that keep changing with each season, each day even, depending on the weather, light, and disposition of each plant and flower.
Although I like to photograph my garden and its many moods and changes, it is when I can sit and simply gaze at the flowers and plants around me that I am most happy.
I like to read my garden. By that I mean that by being attentive to the garden and observing how each plant and flower grows, I get to know their individual moods, likes and dislikes. It helps me understand human relationships and their infinitesimal variety by associating people with plants and flowers.
My garden is mostly a perennial garden with different types of Hosta, sturdy and reliable, filling out the garden, year after year, lovers of shade, but burning with too much sun exposure; Peonies that grace the garden in June for a few weeks at the most, delicate and falling apart with the slightest disturbance of wind and rain; Irises, with long stalks that soon droop within days of their glory; Spirea that blooms in a shock of white beauty that within a few days starts to fall like dry snowflakes; Daylilies that open up and close up in response to light; Lilac trees that exude a sweet fragrance for a little while before turning brown after a short-lived season; Queen Anne’s Lace, delicate and white beautiful things; Bleeding Hearts that hang as reminders of human hearts and their frailty; Tulips in April, a splash of colour until their petals fall unless already eaten by squirrels; Hydrangea bushes that bloom in summer but are fussy and need watering, otherwise, they droop and shrivel up.
As I think of each of these plants and flowers that co-exist in the small garden space, living with their peculiarities side-by-side, I am reminded of people and their personalities. Each of us share qualities I see in flowers and plants: resiliency, strength, endurance, but also weakness, moodiness, temper tantrums, falling apart at the slightest thing.
So I like to read the moods and changes of each plant during each season. Like them, some of us survive longer, withstand more, while others are not able to weather storms and fall apart and die. June is a great month for living. Everything in the garden thrives and grows. It’s a positive month. I like to linger in June, before the heatwaves of July and August arrive. The extra care needed for the garden to survive: watering often, constant weeding, too, happens in summer. Each month has its own requirements but for now, I will only think of the ease of June.