Monday, June 22, 2009

Heliotrope: An Escape to the Garden

There's some scenery for those who think they have to have scenery.

This is Mrs. Gibbs' garden. Corn... peas... beans...hollyhocks... heliotrope... and a lot of burdock...

This is Mrs. Webb's garden.

Just like Mrs. Gibbs', only it's got a lot of sunflowers, too.

~ The Stage Manager, Our Town

And now, a brief respite from all things church.

For weeks Beloved and I have been talking about when I would go to pick up my flowers, to plant in the two small beds I plant every year (not to mention the herbs for the pots). For weeks, I have not had a Sunday afternoon free, nor an evening after Beloved gets out of work. Between life at church and Petra and my extracurricular activities (which, at this point, include a play)... no time.

Yesterday afternoon seemed to provide an opening, however. It was Father's Day, so I assumed Petra would be with her dad (she was, but for a surprisingly short time-- an hour or so for brunch). There was no church-related activity I could remember being on the calendar. Oh-- and it wasn't raining, which, after what feels like forty days and forty nights of monsoon around here, was remarkable in itself.

So... after coffee hour, I raced home, and changed, and picked up B., and off we went.

She'd been telling me about this place. It's small, on a suburban corner where the zoning changes from residential to commercial, so it's located in a neighborhood. The other gardening places around here tend to be on "strips," or isolated stretches of highway.

The first thing I laid eyes on was the heliotrope. I'd never seen heliotrope before. And I knew the name was familiar, but darned if I could remember where I'd heard it. I knew it was a literary reference... I was seeing a summer night, and a young woman in white waxing poetic about its scent. And it is truly intoxicating. I was immediately enchanted. Late, late in the day, while I was literally digging the holes in which to put the four specimens I'd purchased, I remembered.

After about an hour of shopping, Beloved and I stopped, first, at her place, to put in the few plants she'd bought. She fusses with her garden. She changes her mind and moves things around. Me, once it's in, it's in. She'd bought a plant earlier in the spring that she'd decided she didn't like. "Too prissy," she said, but I loved it. It looks like a miniature rose, just about a foot tall, with cream-colored petals that open in a delicate bowl. So, we replaced it with I-forget-what, and dug it up to bring it to my house. Then we worked together, putting in one entire bed of lavenders and purples, all planted around my perennial lavender (which has been in for about three years). The purple bed is the scented bed, containing as it does, the heliotrope, the lavender and lilac lobelia. I also planted verbena and purple waves, plus some anemone bulbs I'd forgotten about.

The other bed was planned around dianthus that I didn't expect to come back, but which has been flowering like mad-- white and several shades of pink. So... in went Beloved's rose-like thing, plus gorgeous tiny fluffy white English daisies, white lobelia, and then, on the other side of the dianthus, a bunch of ranunculus bulbs, and about eight shocking pink wave petunias.

This morning began as usual with the sounds of the bulldozers going back and forth, starting promptly at 7 AM. My house is in the midst of a street-digging-gas-line-replacing project that hs been going on since June 1. To give you a sense of the chaos, there's a port-a-potty on my lawn. On my LAWN! When I came into the kitchen, though, I looked out the window to see my two flower beds, looking lovely and defiant in the midst of all the chaos.


suzanne said...

Thank God the flower beds are still intact! I thought you were going to tell us that they had been dug up.
Did they 'ask' you if they could put the porta potty in your year? How gross! I always thought those things would be placed in a more central location to construction trailers and the like.

Choralgirl said...

LOL...there's a whole post available in "port-a-potty on my lawn" as metaphor. :-D

Sara said...

Sounds like a beautiful garden, but, a port-a-potty on your lawn? EWWWWW!

God_Guurrlll said...

Gardening is such a soulfilled activity for me. When my beloved and I got back from vacation the first place I went to was my garden.

I have to get some more plants for my garden. I'm thinking maybe peppers.

August said...

sounds gorgeous!

LittleMary said...

so very sweet, very sweet!

God_Guurrlll said...

I almost forgot to comment on the port-a-potty.

It sounds like the makings of a great country song, or a means of getting some interesting manure.

jsd said...

the garden sounds beautiful

revkjarla said...

how could they put a port a potty on your lawn?????