Monday, August 10, 2015

The Lure of the Garden

High summer and the peonies, lilacs, poppies and irises have retired their blooms for another season, what remains though are some glorious late bloomers.
The daylily, 'Elizabeth Salter', has been a cherished resident in our gardens for decades. James and I found her at a nursery in Blue Hill, Maine, she came home in the crush of plants in the back seat our car then was planted proudly into our perennial bed where she dominated her domain. When we sold that house in the late 90's as we packed the van I dug up a portion and she made the move with us to New Hampshire. On our last move a couple of years ago, it was winter and there wasn't a chance for us to take pieces of any plant since there was easily a couple of feet of snow blanketing the garden. But, on a visit to the daylily farm in Hancock, NH, we found 'Elizabeth Salter'  and once again this daylily boldly punctuates our August garden.  Ms. Salter has made appearances in several of James' paintings due to her form and beauty.

On The Road To Anghiari
James Aponovich
oil on canvas

What color this Dahlia provides in August!

Our friend Stew, from Maine and Panicale (Italy) is crazy for dahlias. Seeing pictures of his dahlias  gave us  serious flower envy so we decided to try a couple. I planted this one last year, put it away for winter and forgot about it. In early June James found it in the basement, brought it out and flowered! YAY!
Next year there will be a few more dazzling dahlias!

I received this fountain as a gift from James. Our daughter, Ana, called her "Squirt" and the name has stuck! She is a delight to have slashing around in the shade garden! The sight and sound of water in the garden does something calming to our senses. The babbling of a brook or the breaking of a wave put us in tune with nature, that is if we listen.

My friend Judith came by the other day to take some photos of the garden, she
commented that," These hydrangea flowers caps remind me of the head of a *Capuchin Monk!"
Exactly, I thought!

The imprint of St. Francis can be found throughout Umbria and Tuscany.

When we bought this house, St. Francis was already here and it was James that found him a shady spot in the garden with some hellebores ( Lenten Rose), Heucchera and Epimedium. Francis is close to the door of James' studio reminding him of St. Francis's  significance in Umbria. Last spring we visited  a sacred spotter Cortona ( tuscany), Il Celle, the cell in the monastery where St. Francis spent his days in solitude and reflection. The monastery seems to hang from the side of a gorge highlighted by a waterfall and any architect seeking to blend structure into the natural must see this place. It is a remarkable place to visit, what I refer to a 'thin place' where heaven and earth meet.

As gardeners our goal to to have areas of the garden shout with color and form saying "look at me!" Yet, there are sections of the garden that are purposed for subdued quiet.
Often it is in the shade that our quiet gardens evolve with the simplicity of foliage and cool greens surrounding a place to rest, a bench, a chair or large rock. We stop, we observe, we reflect, we rest.

Beauty is found in the understated.
I gave very little attention to hosta flowers until this one, the lily like blossom of Hosta 'Guacamole'.
this flower does not scream with color, it waits like a star in the night sky waiting to be noticed among all the other stars and planets.

 One more appearance, an encore by daylily 'Elizabeth Salter' to end the show.

* a Capuchin Monk

1 comment:

Artist said...

Man, oh man…Your garden is gorgeous! I have such water envy!! I love "Squirt", too!
Have fun getting dirt under your nails, kids…See you in Spring-