Waiting

Milkweed pods crack open to release their seeds onto the wind.

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Our lives unfold to the cadence of waiting.  We wait for the milestones of maturity; birthday candles, privileges, grades passed.  We wait for friendship and love.  Sometimes we wait for a soured relationship’s messy end.

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Garlic chives go to seed all too quickly.

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We tick off the long awaited steps of our lives at first with eagerness; later with longing.  We wait for spring.  We wait for summer’s heat to break.

We wait for the trees to bud and for the roses to finally bloom in May.

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We wait for storms to come and to pass; for children to grow independent; for dream vacations; for retirement.

Which is sweeter, the wait, or the fulfillment?

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Beautyberry ripens over a long season, to the delight of our many birds.

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“We never live;
we are always in the expectation of living.”
.
Voltaire

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I await the much loved succession of our garden each year:  emergence, growth, bud, bloom, fruits and seeds.

By September, many of the season’s flowers have already gone to seeds; others are still just coming into bloom.

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Obedient plant blooms with Rudbeckia hirta, black-eyed Susans.

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Hibiscus, Echinacea and Basil seeds bring a small cadre of bright goldfinches darting about the garden.  They have waited long months for their delicious ripening.

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Hibiscus pods split open in autumn to offer their feast of seeds to hungry birds.

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And sometimes, after the longest of winter waits, those dropped and forgotten seeds fulfill their destiny, sprouting and growing into the fullness of maturity.  Self-sown plants, appearing as if by magic, are a special gift of nature in our garden.

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Self-sown Basil going to seed again.

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No, I’m not speaking of the crabgrass or wild Oxalis sprouting in the paths and in the pots.  I’m speaking of the small army of Basil plants which appeared, right where I wanted them, this spring.   I’m speaking of the bright yellow Lantana growing now in the path, and the profusion of bright golden Rudbeckia in our front garden.

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A Black Swallowtail butterfly feeds on perennial Lantana.

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And, I’m speaking of the magnificent Aralia spinosa blooming for the first time this summer.  It’s gigantic head of ripening purple berries reminds me of why we tolerate its thorny trunk.

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Aralia spinosa’s creamy flowers have faded, leaving bright berries in their wake.

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Gardeners soon learn the art of waiting.  We wait for tiny rooted slips of life to grow into flowering plants, for bulbs to sprout, for seeds to germinate, for little spindly sticks to grow and finally bear fruit. We wait for the tomatoes to ripen and the pecans to fall.

We wait for hummingbirds to fly north each spring; for butterflies to find our nectar filled floral banquet.

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We wait year upon year for our soil to finally get ‘right.’  We wait for rains to come, and for the soggy earth to dry out enough to work in the spring.

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We are waiting for the Solidago, Goldenrod, to bloom any day now, drawing even more pollinators to the garden.

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And we wait for ourselves, sometimes, too.  We wait for our fingers to grow green enough that we can tend our garden properly, coaxing beauty from the Earth.

So much to learn, so much to do, so much to love…..

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Woodland Gnome 2017

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“Patience is power.
Patience is not an absence of action;
rather it is “timing”
it waits on the right time to act,
for the right principles
and in the right way.”
.
Fulton J. Sheen

~

For the Daily Post’s
Weekly Photo Challenge:  Waiting

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Advertisements

Rest

~
“In a cool solitude of trees
Where leaves and birds a music spin,
Mind that was weary is at ease,
New rhythms in the soul begin.”
.
William Kean Seymour

~

~
“Looking at beauty in the world,
is the first step of purifying the mind.”
.
Amit Ray
~
~
“Man is so made
that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor
by taking up another. ”
.
Anatole France
~
~
“Relationships are steppingstones
for the evolution of our consciousness.
Each interaction we have, be it one of joy or contrast,
allows us to learn more about who we are
and what we want in this lifetime.
They bring us into greater alignment…
as long as we continue to move forward
and do not get attached
to hurt, anger, or being a victim.”
.
Alaric Hutchinson
~
~

Happy wishes to you for just the sort

of happiness and relaxation you need today,

so that you are energized and ready for the coming season!

*

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017
~
“One day a week I seek to rest
from earthly toil and sorrow.
Revitalized, I find the strength
to battle new tomorrows.”
.
Richelle E. Goodrich
~

Blossom XXX: Garlic Chives

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Do you fill your garden with beautiful plants, or with useful plants?  Garlic chives, Allium tuberosum, offers late summer beauty while also filling a useful niche in our very wild garden.

It has been blooming for a couple of weeks and will continue well into September; a favorite among our pollinators.  It blooms long after our other Alliums have finished for the year.

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It grows in ever expanding clumps in sun, partial sun, and even partial shade.  I bought the first few pots, years ago, in hopes its garlicky fragrance might help shield more tasty plants from grazing deer.  It was a good idea to try, and it certainly discourages them.  It offers more protection in a potted arrangement than in the open garden.

We quickly learned that this Allium reseeds prolifically.  Now, it grows in many places we never thought to plant it.  It even makes a place for itself in tiny cracks and crevices in the hardscape. Hardy to Zone 3, it easily thrives through our winters, and surprises you with its sudden and unexpected appearance each spring.

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Garlic chives spread themselves around the garden, blooming in unexpected places in late summer.

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It remains evergreen here through most of the year, only succumbing to frost for deepest winter.  Once the weather warms in spring, its leaves shoot up to greet the sun.  Which means, that if you enjoy it as a culinary herb, you have a steady supply of leaves to use fresh or dried.

This is a favorite in many Asian cuisines, and both leaves and flower buds may be enjoyed fresh or sauteed.  This Allium is native to Asia, but has traveled all around the world now and naturalized in many areas.  In fact, in some areas, particularly in Australia, it is now considered invasive.

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“Invasive” to some perhaps, but “reliable and hardy” to us.  These beautiful blossoms are what I’ve come to love most about our garlic chives.  Purely white, long lasting, and perky; these certainly brighten up our garden when it needs it most.

Now that they have had several years to spread, they create a beautiful unity and rhythm as clumps emerge randomly in many different areas.  They accent whatever grows nearby.

The clumps may be dug and divided after flowering, if you want to spread them through your garden even faster than they will spread themselves.  The dried seed heads prove interesting once the flowers have finished.  When the seeds have ripened and dried, you may break them from their stem, and simply shake them over areas where you would like garlic chives in coming years.

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And yes, you can enjoy these blossoms inside in a vase for several days.  They combine well with interesting foliage; other flowering herbs, like Basil; and with more common garden flowers.

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There is a certain satisfaction in growing edible and medicinal plants which blend in to the perennial garden.  Even better when they prove perennial, tough, and still very, very beautiful.

*
Woodland Gnome 2017
*
For the Daily Post’s
Weekly Photo Challenge:  Structure
~
~
Blossom XXV: Elegance
Blossom XXVI: Angel Wing Begonia
Blossom XXVII: Life 
Blossom XXVIII: Fennel 
Blossom XXIV:  Buddleia

 

 

 

Structure

~
“Life on earth is a whole,
yet it expresses itself in unique time-bound bodies,
microscopic or visible,
plant or animal, extinct or living.
So there can be no one place to be.
There can be no one way to be,
no one way to practice, no one way to learn,
no one way to love, no one way to grow or to heal,
no one way to live, no one way to feel,
no one thing to know or be known.
The particulars count.”
.
Jon Kabat-Zinn
~
~
“Nothing is less real than realism.
Details are confusing.
It is only by selection, by elimination,
by emphasis,
that we get at the real meaning of things.”
.
Georgia O’Keeffe
~
~
“The basic structure of the universe
is balanced on a razor’s edge
for life to exist”
.
Sunday Adelaja
~
~
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017
~
~
For the Daily Post’s
Weekly Photo Challenge:  Structure

Collage: Hibiscus

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Hibiscus flowers fill our garden each summer from July through September. 

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~

Tree Hibiscus, also known as Hibiscus syriacus or Rose of Sharon; were first planted by earlier gardeners on this site.  Now they reseed themselves all over our garden.  Deciduous, their lean frames catch winter’s snow,  and hold seed filled pods to sustain our birds all winter.

Both leaves and flowers open a little late, but the flowers keep coming into September.  Butterflies, every sort of bee, and hummingbirds feast on their nectar from early July until autumn.

Rose of Sharon flowers remain fairly small, only a couple of inches across.  Our other perennial Hibiscus sport huge, saucer sized blossoms.

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Native Hibiscus moscheutos, which grows wild in the marshes near us, grows rapidly once the weather warms in early summer.  Though its flowers are short lived, they keep coming over several weeks.  The dried seed pods linger into winter, when we finally cut back its woody stalks.

Beautiful swamp Hibiscus, Hibiscus coccineus, will soon burst into bloom in our garden, sporting scarlet flowers on towering woody stems.

~

Hibiscus coccineus, another native Hibiscus, will bloom before the end of July. Its beautiful slender leaves gracefully clothe its tall stems. it will tower above the surrounding garden when it blooms.

~

These showy, generous blossoms blend into a collage of color in our garden, animated by the many pollinators buzzing from one to the other, sustained by their sweet nectar.

~
~
Woodland Gnome 2017
~
~
For the Daily Post’s
Weekly Photo Challenge:  Collage

 

WPC: Transient

~

“The only way to make sense out of change

is to plunge into it, move with it,

and join the dance.”

.

Alan W. Watts

~

~

“Nothing endures but change.”

.

Heraclitus

~

~

“If a beautiful thing were to remain

beautiful for all eternity, I’d be glad,

but all the same I’d look

at it with a colder eye.

I’d say to myself: You can look

at it any time, it doesn’t have to be today.”

.

Hermann Hesse

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

.

“It is in changing that we find purpose.”

.

Heraclitus

~

Clematis ‘Violet Elizabeth’

~

For The Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Transient

~

Summer Garden: Shifting Focus

~

“The beauty of that June day was almost staggering.

After the wet spring, everything that could turn green

had outdone itself in greenness

and everything that could even dream of blooming

or blossoming was in bloom and blossom.

The sunlight was a benediction.”

.

Dan Simmons

~

Allium

~

“And so with the sunshine

and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees,

just as things grow in fast movies,

I had that familiar conviction

that life was beginning over again

with the summer.”

.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

~

~

“There’s this magical sense of possibility

that stretches like a bridge

between June and August.

A sense that anything can happen.”

.

Aimee Friedman

~

Carrot flower and Coreopsis

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

Clematis

~

“A flower blossoms for its own joy.”

.

Oscar Wilde

* * *

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Focus

WPC: In Focus, Or Not….

~
“When I fully enter time’s swift current,
enter into the current moment
with the weight of all my attention,
I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here.”
.
Ann Voskamp
~
~
“Miracles… seem to me to rest not so much upon…
healing power coming suddenly near us
from afar but upon our perceptions being made finer,
so that, for a moment, our eyes can see and our ears can hear
what is there around us always.”
.
Willa Cather
~
~
“Listen to the trees as they sway in the wind.
Their leaves are telling secrets.
Their bark sings songs of olden days
as it grows around the trunks.
And their roots give names to all things.
Their language has been lost.
But not the gestures.”
.
Vera Nazarian
~
~
“Pay attention to the intricate patterns of your existence
that you take for granted.”
.
Doug Dillon
~
~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~
“Attention is a resource as abundant as sunlight.
It streams outward all day long
whether we choose to tap into it or not.
By developing conscious focus of our attention,
we learn to harness one of the greatest creative powers
available to humankind,
one that happens to be freely available
within ourselves at all times.”
.
Scott Edmund Miller
~

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Focus

~
~
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

Sunday Dinner: Discovery

~

“From so high above it,

the world seems ordered and deliberate.

But I know it’s more than that.

And less.

It is structured and chaotic.

Beautiful and strange.”

.

Nicola Yoon

~

~

“Our real discoveries come from chaos,

from going to the place that looks wrong

and stupid and foolish.”

.

Chuck Palahniuk

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

(parsley flowers and fennel leaves, after the rain)

.  .  .

For the Daily Post’s 

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Order

~

 

Sunday Dinner: Observers

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“To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.”

.

Paul Valéry

~

~

“Chaos is peaceful

when you stand quietly & watch –

we are eternal observers,

reflecting both tiny & vast,

singing infinitely within.”

.

Jay Woodman

~

~

“Observation is, at its core, an expression of love

which doesn’t get caught up in sentiment.”

.

Takashi Hiraide

~

~

“Keep your eyes open

and you’ll see more than you ever dreamed of.”

.

Marty Rubin

~

~

“Learn to see what you are looking at.”

.

Christopher Paolini

~

~

“The world was beautiful

when looked at in this way—

without any seeking, so simple, so childlike.”

.

Hermann Hesse

.

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

 

 

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