Pause, Reflect, Breathe

Benny's Garden 28 May 2018

A Day to Pause and Reflect

As each year passes, Memorial Day is fast becoming one of my favorite days for pause, reflection, deep breathing and spiritual fulfillment. Just like last year, I am sitting in the garden writing this entry with my feet up enjoying the sites and sounds enveloping me. I have so much to do — beds need clearing, several plants are begging to be released from their small plastic cells so they may stretch their legs within the garden soil and the never ending list goes on. All these things weigh on my mind but I absolutely must sit, get this article done and really take time to be quiet. To accentuate the moment, I am listening to the beautiful music of Kristin Rule. Please click on the link and have a listen. It will add to your reading pleasure. I promise.

A day to reflect

So Blessed

The dry winter, aphids, rabbits, hail, sudden heat spells but mostly lack of water. All have taken its toll on my garden paradise. What must be sheer spite, the garden is rebounding. Rather than wallow in all the things that aren’t as they should be, I shall celebrate instead.

In a large pot under the pergola, a lone columbine has thrived. Typically it is competing with the desert bluebells but this year none came up and this allowed the columbine to take over the pot.

Columbine Flower

Columbine Foliage

The Pallida Dalmatica Irises

Preface: I ordered these vintage (circa 1597) Irises from Old House Gardens in March of 2015. I tracked down these irises as they bring back some very special memories. It was very important that these bloom so I thought moving them would help — it did!

At the end of last season, I moved two large clumps of irises away from the house and planted them along the edge of the steps leading up to the top half of the garden. This is their third year in the garden and when the weather warmed this spring, the foliage took off just as it did last year — (but foliage was all I had last year hence one of the reasons for the relocation). Weeks went by, I saw no stalks forming. I feared that once again I would have no blooms.

One morning, during an atypical saunter, I nearly cried out with delight when I noticed those ever familiar little stalks forming off the sides of the leaves! Now, they are blooming and that aroma! If heaven had a fragrance, the scent of an iris would definitely be it. Just like Francis said in “Under the Tuscan Sun” — they smell of purple — a very delicate, delicious purply heaven!

Irises Flanking Stairs

The Dedicated Poppy Bed

I could keep going on and on about all the beauty that surrounds me now but I don’t want to take up too much of your time. 🙂 Before I close, I would like to share with you a little something I created about a month ago. I wanted to have a dedicated rose bed and I have been successful with that endeavor. When I was finished positioning my roses, I had a rather large patch that I ended up designating “to be determined”.

A month ago, I was staring at this space and weighing my options: A selection of miniature roses (they don’t really do too well in our climate), herbs or perhaps a selection of prairie flowers? I then realized what I absolutely must do. I tilled the soil so to disturb it to the point where it was very loose. I then gathered all my special poppy seed and scattered them all throughout the blank canvas. What an amazing blessing it is now to see them coming up. Soon, I will have a miniature field of them!

I have written about the Flanders poppy many times and I will reiterate that this is the one plant I will always grow. When those papery red flowers sway in the breeze, I am reminded of all I am thankful for and my countless blessings.

Poppy Seedlings

Spreading the Love

The poppies I grow year after year originated from a grave site in Flanders. It has been my goal to share the seeds I gather every year with all who want them. The ultimate goal being that this little red flower proudly sways in every garden around the world. Last year I sent some to my friend Gloria. She planted her seeds last autumn and has kindly shared her thoughts on why planting these flowers were important to her. I shall close with her words that beautifully encapsulate this day and the magic a bit of sentimentality can bring to the garden. Until next time, thank you so kindly for reading. Thank you to all those in our military who give so much every day selflessly so I may have a day like today.

My garden is many things to me but mainly a sacred place filled with plants shared from neighbor and friend, some specifically chosen plants which remind me daily to be grateful for those who touched my life with love and lessons. When I discovered my friend Ben had Flanders Poppies I knew they needed to be a part of my garden, and in asking, he generously harvested his seeds and mailed them to me. I sprinkled, covered, watered and wait with anticipation, while remembering those who paid with every breath, those young hearts, new to war. It is always the staring down of fear that brings freedom. Is that not reason enough to plant the little Flanders seeds, watch as they take the ground, stand honorably and remind me daily to be grateful, so very grateful.

Here is a photo of Gloria’s poppies emerging:

Poppy Seedling

And finally, images from my garden. Blessings to you all!

Sedum

Sedum growing through the crack in the paving stones

Hens and Chicks

I absolutely love the gorgeous purple hues on this hens and chicks specimen

Apples

Apples forming! I am so excited to get fruit this year! Last year, I didn’t

Irises

Soft, subtle purple of the irises

Sedum

Sedum

Globe Mallow — Out of five specimens, I only have two left. This particular plant is thriving.

Lichen

Lichen

Pansies in pot

Pansies in pot

Hummingbird vine

Hummingbird vine

Verbascum

Verbascum — I grow this intentionally as it reminds me of ‘Old Herbaceous’

Clematis Flower

Clematis Flower

Vinca

Vinca — a plant I have been babying. This was originally in a friend’s garden.

Flax flower

Flax flower

Irises with droplets of rain

Irises with droplets of rain

Wind Chime

Custom Made Wind Chime

Columbine

Columbine in artistic black and white

Snow-In-Summer

Snow-In-Summer — Some call it a menace. I call it beautiful!

Blue Flax

The beautiful blue flax

2 Comments

  1. gloria 28 May, 2018

    Beautiful Ben, simply beautiful. Your post and pictures. Thank you for gifting me a part.

  2. Eve K Searle 30 May, 2018

    Benjy – what a beautiful flower garden – I had never seen the steps before – they are lovely. Nature responds to love, doesn’t it??

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