My desk used to face the window that overlooks our garden of perennial flowers. I had to move the desk years ago, when the garden was forming, because I’d look out and see what needed to be done: cut back a delphinium gone to seed, or pull a blowsy dandelion, or move a yellow globe plant to a place where I could better enjoy it. Now, my desk is slightly turned away from the window. It’s helped me focus longer on my writing, but I miss seeing the flowers, especially this time of year when the scent of the lilac blossoms and those on the Hawthorne tree waft in through the window.
But I’ve found that glimpses into the garden aren’t nearly as satisfying as going outside, taking the time to enjoy the garden and appreciate how it develops and changes over the summer. We keep a country style perennial garden, even though we live in the city. We let plants spread out, sow their seeds, and grow tall. Maybe I take a trowel or clippers with me when I go out, but I make a promise to mainly enjoy the different colors of green leaves, the shapes of the buds and flowers, the way the irises and poppies are spreading out.
This year, the early warm weather and the heavy rain have contributed to denser foliage and more blossoms. It’s one of those years when the wild columbines have flourished: a dozen have appeared with lots of blossoms in pink and white. The blue forget-me-nots fringe two sides of one section in the garden. Our garden is mature now and doesn’t require much planting, but last year, we added three new, showy plants that are thriving — Queen of the Prairie, Sea Holly, and Hydrangea. To keep a little surprise in the dappled shade, we replaced two ladyslippers.
Over the summer we’ll have different flowers blooming each month, by design. The full summer bloom, its potential just beginning to show, promises to be spectacular.