Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer's Parade



This year, more than any other, the analogy of a parade patterns my thoughts of summer in the garden. Parades begin with a showy piece, like the bright daffodils and tulips of spring, before the main event. Often there are gaps in the parade while the music and beauty from one show fades before the other comes into full swing. In May the peonies delight with their ruffled creamy petals of palest pink and deep crimson. Purple, pink and yellow irises follow. Then, we wait for the roses of June, whose first velvet blossoms swell our hearts with loveliness. We bury our noses in their intricate whorls and inhale deeply. Like the music that trails behind the marching band, the rose fragrance lingers in memory, sweetness preserved for darker days.


 Soon then, marching one right after the other, sometimes joining in a combination piece, come the delphiniums, the lavender and marigolds, the lilies. Hydrangeas join in; fat mops of blue and purple swell the garden with lavish color. Somewhere along the line the lupins, the foxgloves and cosmos join in, swinging into formation to heighten the excitement. Fast on their heels follow hollyhocks, standing straight as soldiers proudly bearing medals with colored ribbons.

Then come the dahlias - from deepest burgundy to ivory white and every shade in between, striped, ruffled, dinner plate, daisy - their variety is endless and their performance goes on long until the first frost, months from now. A quieter show, offering a pause in the music of the parade, is given by the phlox, green spires topped by white in my garden. Sometimes, delphiniums play a coda and show up once more in late summer, along with a second flush of lavender.



Like a parade, this summer will end. The colors will fade, the sere blossoms will fall to the ground, green stems will wither. But now, in these days when summer is high and rich, I gather to myself all the fullness of my garden, storing scents and colors in my mind against days to come. 


14 comments:

Marilyn said...

Isn't it fun to watch the transition of the garden during this time of year? I just love seeing your garden flowers.

cucki said...

Beautiful flowers from a beautiful garden..
Big hugs x

Vee said...

Your flowers are so beautiful and look so happy and healthy! You're doing something right!

Carole said...

Lorrie, your gardens (floral and vegetable) are spectacular! You certainly have a green thumb. Please keep us posted on your lemons as I'd love to see how they do. Your winter light/heat set up for the lemons is so clever.
My garden is looking rather neglected due to my being away for two weeks. Thank goodness for the farmer's market!
Have a great weekend. xo Carole

Pamela Gordon said...

Lorrie, this is a beautifully written post! Gorgeous photos of a few of your blooms too. You are fortunate to enjoy such a long growing season there.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I love the summer parade idea - and I miss my big flower gardens - I am just gardening on the deck this year because of back surgery - but I'm getting the itch to put in big flower beds again. Maybe that will be my winter project - designing flower beds for next year. Lovely photos.

Alisa Noble said...

Ack! Lorrie! Wonderful, wonderful description of a garden!!

Millie said...

Beautifully written! The progression of blooms is so amazing.

ellen b. said...

Beautiful insight...

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

What a beautiful garden. The blossoms truly should be treasured.

Have a happy weekend!

GretchenJoanna said...

That dahlia is a show-stopper - reminds me of my grandpa's prize-winning dahlias so long ago, which I didn't appreciate at the time. It's wonderful to see the fruits of your labors - wish I could be there in person to watch even part of the parade. :-)

Mary said...

Never enough time to comment on everything sadly, but I do read and enjoy so much you share dear Lorrie. Here I am though, home for a while - well some weekend trips coming up to visit friends - and kicking myself that we didn't add more time to the recent trip to come see you and Pondside and walk through the flowers at Butchart!
Yours are stunning too though.

Hugs - Mary

Barbara said...

Our colours are fading fast in this 90f heatwave. Leaves dropping too and ground cracking up.

Donna said...

I bet your flower garden is positively spectacular!