A Week With Flowers

Flowers, flowers, everywhere! The gardener at Emily Dickinson’s Garden on WordPress is thrilled with the second week of April.

First, my husband picked me up from the airport with these beautiful roses buckled into my seat.

It was my birthday, so this was a wonderful present for the location. Had we been home, rather than traveling, the author of this blog would have much preferred a rose bush to plant in my garden…but this sweet bouquet was a nice compromise: though away from home, I still had flowers to enjoy.

Next, I was whisked away to my birthday dinner, but out in front of the restaurant, my attention was stolen by all the gorgeous heather blooming in the most unusual, but appropriate places. Really, is there a better use of heather than to beautify a fire hydrant?

The next morning, out in front of a grocery store…..

Now to the wild woods of Thousand Acres…

I robbed the Woods–
The trusting Woods–
The unsuspecting Trees
Brought out their Burs and mosses
My fantasy to please–
I scanned their trinkets curious–
I grasped – I bore away–
What will the solemn Hemlock–
What will the Oak tree say?

(Emily, F 57a)

A nature walk with my dear B & B hostess–a lover of forests and wildflowers. She was kind enough to stop along our way and let me take photos with my seriously inferior phone camera (my other had no battery power) and to provide me with their names.

A Grove of Red Alder Trees: (If you click on this picture and look closely, you may see my “dog away from home”, spiriting himself through the grove.)

I was wondering how you can tell a birch from an alder–so I looked it up online. They say the main difference is the bark–the birch is papery and grows horizontal–the alder is rough barked and grows vertical. The leaves are also quite different.


For the bark, dulled argent, roundly wrapped
And pigeon-collared.

For the splitter-splatter, guttering
Rain-flirt leaves.

For the snub and clot of the first green cones,
Smelted emerald, chlorophyll.

For the scut and scat of cones in winter,
So rattle-skinned, so fossil-brittle.

For the alder wood, flame-red when torn
Branch from branch.

But mostly for the swinging locks
Of yellow catkins.

Plant it, plant it,
Streel-head in the rain.

Seamus Heaney

My host said this is Forget-Me-Not, pre-bloom.

A wild bleeding-heart.

A banana slug.

Sala, Shallon leaf. I loved the skeletal, papery remnants.

Western Red Huckleberry flowers.

Beautiful floral arrangement using Western Red Huckleberry.


Trillium Ovatum, “Western Wake Robin”–usually, she says, the forest is dense with trillium, but not so this year. I wonder why. In some states it is illegal to pick trillium because it needs its leaf-like bracts to reproduce. (Its true leaves are underground.) Everything you see above ground are called scapes.

Trillium Erectum (pg 7 of Emily Dickinson’s Herbarium) What Emily would refer to as “wood-lily”–since it’s sometimes referred to as part of the lily (Liliaceae) family.

“Emily’s brother Austin was linked with the trillium or wood lily: “The Woods lend Austin Trilliums” (L823). This plant has three leaves (even as there were three Dickinson children), and it signified rank and authority in most floral dictionaries. Austin, an only son and his father’s heir, could be imagined as the trillium’s single large flower, standing solitary among the low-lying greens.”

(The Gardens of Emily Dickinson, by Judith Farr, p. 55).

The Bed-and-Breakfast.

This has been my home-away-from-home for the last four months. A magical place in the woods, near the harbor, replete with owl-sound, chitter-chattering-chirping birds, scuffling squirrels, and families of deer who move as quietly as fairy wings outside our door.

Rhododendrun grow like crazy in Western Washington.

Her face be rounder than the Moon
And ruddier than the gown
Of Orchis in the Pasture–
Or Rhododendron–worn–

(Emily, F 642)

When a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? I don’t know, but at this B & B, a fallen tree does get used for landscaping the trails.

Labyrinth among cedars.

And the mountain of the gods which hovers over this Eden–Mt. Ranier.

2 responses to “A Week With Flowers

  1. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday, LInda, hoping everything comes up roses for you this coming year! Raising my coffee cup in a birthday toast … Cheers đŸ™‚

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