Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Garden of Gratitude by Barbara Quinn

Perennial flowers are the backbone of my garden. Outside my window, the Black-eyed Susan’s wave in the breeze. Beside them sit clumps of golden Day Lilies that bloom for months without any care. The Sedum is starting to blossom and change color. In fall it will become a deep red. My Mums are already in full flower, their wine and orange colored blossoms bright in the August sun. The purple and white Asters will be in the next round of flowering plants. I love watching the perennials cycle through the growing season. In spring there are a few Crocuses that the deer leave behind. The deer eat all the Tulips, and most of the Daffodils too, so I’ve let them disappear from the garden. Summer and fall are when the perennials are most abundant. In dead of winter there’s Holly with its red berries.

If a perennial survives a wintering over, it’s meant to be a part of my landscape. I prefer to find plants that belong in my soil, plants that stay here, like me, and soak in the same sun, air, and water that I do year after year. We’re fellow travelers, baking in August, hunkering down in the winter. Plus, it’s a lot easier to tend perennials. Plant them once and you’re set. Don’t get me wrong. Annuals are pretty, and I love seeing them in my neighbors’ yards. How can you not be drawn to the bright colors of the Hibiscus, Impatiens, or Begonias? But it’s my old friends the perennials for me.

When I walk to my mailbox I pass purple Spiderwort that I transplanted here from my last home almost ten years ago. Every summer and fall when it blooms I remember the large patch of Spiderwort at my previous house. It’s not a very popular plant, but I like its ambling disarray of leaves and small flowers. It crops up every year and shouts look at me. And I am happy to oblige. There are Hostas too, with their long green leaves and purple flowers on long stalks. And blue Hydrangeas that droop heavily from their bushes. I’m grateful to perennials for coloring my landscape and keeping me company year after year.


Kathryn Magendie said...

Lovely lovely - I can see it all!

Angie Ledbetter said...

A living bouquet for the mistress of the house! I do a lot of container gardening on my patio, but didn't put out the front bed color this year. Just too much going on...but I miss that splace of welcoming color when I go in our out of the driveway. Maybe this spring.

Ami said...

I started my first gardening experiment this year and insisted that whatever I plant, I only have to do it once. Thanks to a friend who needed to thin out her own perennials, I now have a blooming garden to make me smile. Thanks for giving us a tour of your garden!

Joanne said...

I like that thought, plants that stay here like me, fellow travelers weathering the elements together, sharing a home. They have a peaceful place in our lives, don't they?

Patresa Hartman said...

love all the color!

and i do love the perennials. every year i get excited to see how they'll look that spring. the hostas & day lilies are usually the first to pop up around here.

it's like a little present every april.

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