One of my greatest joys this cool, wet spring has been taking long walks with the dog through the streets of our new neighborhood and admiring the almost daily changes to the trees and to people’s gardens as the warmer weather gradually rolls in. Although we do miss the more forested atmosphere of our old neighborhood, the new one definitely surpasses it in terms of gorgeous flowers; people around here take their gardens seriously, and it shows! The area is also blessed with an abundance of beautiful flowering trees (which will hopefully, later on in the summer, produce fruit!). The past weeks have seen hellebores, daffodils and tulips give way to lilacs and cherry blossoms, then to majestic irises, colorful bursts of azalea, fragrant hawthorn and waterfalls of wisteria, and this week, finally, to snapdragons, poppies, and roses–roses everywhere, in a smorgasbord of colors. (Which has me itching to return to the rose garden soon!) We inherited a rose bush of our own–right outside the front door, and one of the signs that told us this was the place for us, when we first came to see it–which is now producing an abundance of pink-coral blooms.
My own garden got a late start this year, partly due to the weather, partly due to other things taking precedence this year. In retrospect, I wish I had thought to dig up and transport some of my plants from the old house, particularly from my Nine Herbs Garden, since I haven’t been able to put together a new one this year. (Although I very probably will next year, assuming we’re still here.) This year, my acquisitions have been far less planned-out, and in fact it has felt like the plants are choosing me rather than the other way around. Their functions seem to be falling, for the most part, into three general categories: spirit work/magic, brewing (which is also a spiritual activity for me), and dye plants (for fiber, which is also–big surprise here–connected with my religious activities). I’m sure I’m not done planting yet for the season (and I’ve got a $50 gift certificate to Down to Earth burning a hole in my pocket), but so far I’ve got: cinquefoil (an all-around witchy plant if there ever was one), heather (mead!), German chamomile, stinging nettle, and chervil (from the Nine Herbs contingent), chocolate mint and nasturtiums (for green dye and hits of brilliant red–plus, nasturtiums are edible too!), and rock rose (a rather ubiquitous Eugene bush; this one chose me).
Oh, and let’s not forget the lemon balm, which appeared all by itself at the edge of the garden right when I began talking about wanting to buy a seedling.
Anyway, thought I’d share a few pictures of my babies’ progress at this point!