The peonies are coming into their own. So, thundershowers cannot be far away. It is inevitable. Just when the peonies in my garden froth over in pinks and whites, the weather turns ugly. First, temperatures will rise ‘unseasonably’. As this happens every year, I seriously question the weatherman’s idea of unseasonal. Then, the days portend thundershowers. Humidity rises, skies stay overcast. Should I or shouldn’t I? As much as I love seeing the garden glow in peonies, I know the rains will finish them off. Not only will the flowers be destroyed, they will make a real mess. Brown, slimy masses of petals will cling to the plants and more will mat the ground. Ugh.
The question is, how long can I let the garden keep itself pretty in peonies? If I harvest too early then there is that sense of depriving oneself of the show. If I wait till the first fat drops of rain hit, I might not be in time to get all the flowers. And while it is so deliciously decadent to have bowls and bowls of peonies on every surface in the house, the blooms don’t live on as long as they do on the plants themselves. All dilemmas should be this superficial! Still, I suffer. Briefly.
The roses have begun taking center stage. Soft shades of pink cascade on the two arbors. Like vain beauties they appear to beckon passing photographers but I’m all they’ve got. The white Paul’s Himalayan Musk roses form a spectacular canopy on the old apple tree in the meadow. The heavenly scent of this rose is lost on the myriad birds sheltering within. But the very notion of living under a bower of roses appeals enormously to my sentimental side and so I allow myself to think that my feathered friends appreciate their prime real estate. They had better because, the apple tree is now dead, its structure is on its last legs and I am trying to come up with a solution to keep this rose bedecked aviary securely held up. Something functional and tasteful. A sculpture with a purpose.
Meanwhile, the alliums are going strong. Taller than most other plants, they are having their fifteen minutes of fame. Like exclamation points they bring a degree of mirth to the spring garden. Even after they are done, their seed heads command a certain stature. But, I’ve found that if I let them stay on, the alliums do not come back the following year. So I’ve taken to cutting them down once flowering is over. If any of you have other suggestions, please do pass on your tips.
The foxgloves in the herb garden are stunning. They are bigger and taller here than anywhere else. A different variety whose name I must hunt down. The spires keep getting taller and presently I’m concerned they will be toppled by the fierce rain.
Oh the petty worries that plague! We gardeners thrive on tormenting ourselves over stuff like this. One should always be so blessed.
(c) 2016 Shobha Vanchiswar