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From Poetry of Flowers (A book Emily may have referenced), “Grief: According to mytholgists, this flower sprang from the blood of Hyacinthus, who was killed by a quoit, through the agency of Zephyr, who blew it fom its course as it passed from the hand of Apollo, and smote the unfortunate youth on the head.”
“I wish I could show you the hyacinths that embarrass us by their loveliness.” Emily’s letter to James D Clark.
I am in love with him
To whom a hyacinth is dearer
Than I shall ever be dear.
On nights when the field-mice
Are abroad, he cannot sleep.
He hears their narrow teeth
At the bulbs of his hyacinths.
But the gnawing at my heart…
He does not hear.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
There are so many things to which you could compare a garden, not the least of which is friendship. Each year it comes back, sometimes a little worse for wear, but you have a history–an investment in one another.
The pictures I’m sharing today are from my garden–it’s some of my dear old friends emerging from winter in mid-April 2012. They’re bursting out and embracing the day! Some of them are thriving, some are fighting for their lives.
Royal Star Magnolia (struggling)
“Elsa’s Rock” Daffodils to commemorate her death two years ago. What I realized during that time, a great epiphany for me, was that even when we want to hold onto our memories of lost loved ones–and Elsa was very dear to me having been raised from a puppy and sharing my trials and tribulations–our minds let them slip. I was horrified of that. Two weeks after her death, as I stood outside and tried to imagine her, it was hard. Then, a day passed without me thinking of her at all. This rock was placed there, over her burial spot, to remind me to think of her…and to give me a spot to sit while doing that under the Weeping Willow. I planted the daffodils because she died when they were in bloom. Every year they come up, they remind me of my loss–and my loss reminds me of my great gain–having her for thirteen years on this earth.
Daisies–Emily’s nickname was “Daisy”, and she refers to herself as such in the “Master Letters.”
Oh – did I offend it –
Didn’t it want me
to tell it the truth
Daisy – Daisy – offend it – who
bends her smaller life to
his, it’s meeker lower every day –
who only ask – a task –
something to do for
love of it – some little way
she cannot guess to make
that master glad –
A love so big it scares
her, rushing among her small
heart – pushing aside the
blood – and leaving her
faint and white in the
gusts’s arm –
Daisy – who never flinched
thro’ that awful parting –
but held her life so tight
he should not see the
wound – who would have
sheltered him in her
childish Heart – only it was’nt
big eno for a Guest so large –
(Letter 2 1861–Emily to “Master”–actual person is a mystery which stays unsolved.—Word choice changes were chosen by me. Example: bosom/Heart and other ommissions.)
Birch & Pine
The good Will of a flower
The Man who would possess
Must first present
Of minted Holiness
Emily Dickinson #869, 1864
Weather: 60 and cloudy–a bit of sprinkling–hoping for more rain for the grass and new plantings.
Spokane is in Hardiness Zone 6–and Emily’s Amherst is also in Zone 6. Coincidence?
Also, we will be having an Emily Dickinson and Teleflora Flower Bouquet Give-away! Check out the site: Teleflora. I’m thinking it will be each comment equals an entry into the drawing. The Deadline will be May 4th so you can get it by Mother’s Day. Check out their blog–it’s full of information on flowers! Oh, and to be fair, I’ll have someone else pick the name and I’ll take photos! 🙂
What’s happening in the garden?
I haven’t blogged in a while, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working. Quite the contrary. I have now spent about $1,000 in plants, flowers, peat, soil, and fertilizer (this is without the expense of the hay).
My splurges were the Magnolia (79.95)–which, by the way, has elicited the most attention as it buds profusely–Royal Frost Birch (79.95–picture below), Japanese Maple (129.95), and Rhododendron (49.95). There were others in the 29.95 range, like some of the shrubs–St. John’s Wort and the climbing Hydrangea (pictured below).
My philosophy with the trees and shrubs is to go as big as I can afford. Some of these are very slow growing, so if I’m going to enjoy them, I need to get a head start.
Here is the climbing Hydrangea–I’m MOST excited about this beautiful plant. I didn’t know they existed, and when I saw it, I fell in love. They are slow growing and take partial sun.
I can’t remember the name of this ground cover, but it is shade-loving and has a bloom much like honeysuckle. My husband was planting those as I planted the Hostas, and I didn’t realize he’d removed the tags. I’ll dig through the trash and see if I can find them.
Hostas–Albo Marginata–We planted these under our deck. Apparently, Hostas do not need total shade, but that’s what they’ll get here. Hopefully, they’ll do well. They can also tolerate a bit of drought–so I planted them near the ferns and plan to put them on a misting system.
Question–Was Emily referring to the Hosta when sometimes she said “Daylily”? Marta McDowell thinks so. “Daylily in bloom in mid-August? The ones I know are completely spent by late summer. In the mid-nineteenth centry, the common name “day-lily” was the moniker for two plants: what we call ‘hosta’ and what we call ‘daylily,’..” (p. 90)
I found this tree (Royal Frost Birch) while shopping at the nursery, and went home to look it up. It gets a purple foliage and in Fall turns a brilliant red and orange. It is supposed to be a very hardy Birch which grows to about 30 or 40 feet. When they dug it up, they didn’t get a big root ball–which worries me. We’ve staked it for support, and now we’ll just see what happens. It looks like it’s about 13′ planted.
Here’s a picture of the Hyacinth in bloom. I see why Emily loved them so well. They remind me of lilacs–lots of purfume.
This is the Japanese Maple. It was the most expensive addition, and I felt like I got a bargain for the size and maturity. It will give us a feeling of privacy on the patio, but not obstruct the view of the Mountain.
This is Creeping Myrtle (Fertile Myrtle?!?), the ground cover which will grow under the Maple.
I’m always amazed at how so much dirt seems like so little! This is our new top soil–isn’t it gorgeous?!? Dark, rich, 60/40 mix–yummy. It ran us $23/yard–24 yards (pictured is 12)–and $75 for delivery. We’ll rake it around the yard then till it for our grass.
How are your gardens progressing?
Spring comes on the World-
I sight the Aprils-
Hueless to me until thou come
As, till the bee
Blossoms stand negative,
Touched to Conditions
By a Hum.
That has always been one of my favorite Dickinson poems. It’s a beautiful love poem–for a person (?), a flower (?), an animal (?)–fill in the blank with whatever you love.
April 6, 2009
Weather–Sunny & warm
I’ve been shopping.
These are new members of my family–Daffodils, Hyacinth, Tulip, Raspberry, Blueberry, Dianthus, Forsynthia, Snowflake….
Hyacinth–Marta says they were in Emily’s Early Spring Garden. (p.14)
And, Judith Farr writes in her book, “Flowers were her children, friends, and counterparts. They had souls and played a role in the Christian mystery of death and resurrection. Thus, when a neighbor, Mrs. Adelaide Hills, sent her hyacinth bulbs during a dark February when her own plants were dead or dormant, Emily envisioned the “sleeping” Dickinson garden as the scriptural kingdom of the dead, arisen and transfigured on the Last Day. ‘The Snow will guide the Hyacinths to where their mates are sleeping, in Vinnie’s Garden.'” (p. 23)
–Marta McDowell believes the reference to Vinnie is that Vinnie planted them.
Here are my new pink Hyacinth–the spike says they grow to about 12″ and need about 12″ wide. They need part sun and a medium amount of water. “Wonderfully fragrant blooms provides a treat for the senses.” I can’t wait to plant them!
We’re getting our top soil delivered in the next day or two. We need a lot of it.
Here are some other flowers I purchased. Daffodils.
Forsynthia bush (not the tree–which I also need). But I love the yellow of Forsynthia–these shrubs will be great.
And the fruit bushes were chosen by Shiloh, my little Pastry Chef–who loves to bake–and recently, bake pies.
Last Saturday we had our Palisades Park Fundraiser, and I was in charge of getting door prizes. I purchased a small Hyacinth, Daffodil and Tulip–as well as other prizes. The flowers were the first things to be chosen as names were drawn. In fact, they passed on more expensive prizes for the flowers. What does that say about them? Something good, I think.
Have you adopted a new flower, shrub or tree lately?