Winter Dreams and Summer Plans

DSC_0502All winter I dream of June and green foliage, garden centers, freshly unfurled hostas, and deep red poppies.  I dream of lilacs and budded hydrangeas, of marigold flats and petunia pots, of warm days and evening rains.

And, now I’m here.  In June.  The heat hasn’t yet squatted on the gardens.  The peonies are blooming, nodding now under the weight of heavy blooms and last night’s rains.  Winter’s toll has been tallied, mourned, and ultimately dismissed.  There will always be more plants.  The marigolds are in the ground and the petunia pots are nestled in their more attractive garden pots.  And all the bees have awakened.  It is late spring when the days are almost as long as they will be and house sparrows chitter in the bird house.

This mason bee was dining on catmint near the cherry tree.
This mason bee was dining on catmint near the cherry tree.

This June brings a few surprises.  One is the mock orange.  It’s never kicked out very many bloom, but that may have been because the McFarlane lilacs I planted with it bullied MO into a dark corner.  Last summer the lilacs got a good pruning.

 

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Mock Orange blossoms

And MO is now covered in blooms.  I planted it for its scent, but the lilacs still give off a headier perfume than MO.  Mock Orange (Philadephus) was brought to European gardens from the Ottoman Empire in the 1500’s.  It is often used in park plantings because it is such a reliable bloomer and some species are very fragrant.  Unfortunately, mine is a less fragrant variety.  I assumed all MO’s were heavily scented so I didn’t pay attention to the species I purchased.  And, I vaguely recall I bought it late in the season when everything was on sale, so the price was more intoxicating than the fragrance turned out to be.

Allium Schubertii
Allium Schubertii

Another surprise wasn’t so much a surprise as it was a fruitful anticipation.  A year ago I attended the Garden Bloggers’ Fling in Toronto and saw so many gardens with tall allium growing.  Some of the gardens were formal and understated. Others were free flowing narratives of color and texture.  But most had tall allium.  I knew I wanted to see those beautiful globes of tiny flowers in my gardens, so I ordered a number of varieties online.  But the giant allium were the most spectacular.  I know I want more of them!

Giant allium, still lovely when the color goes.
Giant allium, still lovely when the color goes.