Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bringing the mountain

My friend has white mulberries in her garden, and huge peach trees she has raised from seed.  Lemons and kumquats, figs and pomegranates, a glasshouse full of seedlings ready to plant out.  And a motorized scooter to get around her garden.  She used to come walk around my garden, but no more. When I go for tea her house is full of lilacs or roses, lilies or iris, and she always asks me "How is your garden?"  How do you answer that? A garden is never just one way.  But this spring my garden is the best it has ever been.

So last week I took my garden to her.  I brought her a small bouquet of what's blooming now, and my laptop with photos of my garden.

The spanish bluebells came from my friend Sylvia - her garden is a sheet of blue in spring.  Mine are more numerous each year, and I finally have enough to share.
The columbines came from Carol.   I can feel her gentle presence when they bloom.  I miss her.
I don't remember who first told me they got their name from the ring of doves kissing.  Remember your Latin? 

Rhododendrons light up the shade, and caress me with a faint spiciness as I brush past.  They will be sticky and brown soon, and the stickiness will coat my fingers as I snap off the endless spent flowers, but they're worth it.
I showed her the old apple tree just budding,
and the forget-me-nots that stick to your socks.  My mom says when that happens the best thing to do is plant your socks.  She's right, the seeds never come off.
There are bright bergenias with leaves like glossy cabbage.  A granny plant, very out of fashion.  Too bad. I love it.
The first roses of the year are opening outside the bathroom window among the spent peach blossoms, where it is sunniest.  When she saw this she said "Climbing Peace!  That is my favorite rose!"  When a few more have opened I will take her armfuls.
If you can't bring your friend to your garden, get out your camera and your laptop, and bring your garden to visit your friend.  And don't forget the bouquet, for no matter how small, a bouquet gathered by your hand from your garden will always speak of love.

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