Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Give us pleasure in the flowers to-day

A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

...Robert Frost

Above Shirley Temple peony.

Left unknown silvery-blue clematis.

Below Goldfinch on a thistle sock.

Tiny splashes of sunlight flying about the garden.

They seem to prefer this sock to any other of the thistle feeders I've tried.


This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready to break my heart as the sun rises.

(I love that line from Mary Oliver's poem--more below.)

This week the peonies finally make their long awaited appearance. They usually bloom about two weeks earlier just after Memorial Day.

They are so very welcome whenever they choose to bloom.

Last year I added two Shirley Temples to my collection. Most are older varieties. They were planted on the farm before I moved here.
I love the huge doubles, the ones packed with so many petals you can't find the centers. The ones that smell so cloyingly sweet they scent a room when you bring them inside.

The heavy rain and high winds were wreaking so much havoc on the blooms, I cut most of them to enjoy inside. My house is full and so is the office.

Festiva Maxima above white with the red highlights is one of my all time favorites. The dark pink is an old unknown variety. The white below is probably Festiva also.

This fall perhaps I'll research some early bloomers and add them. It would be nice to extend the season a little longer.

I added this yellow iris to mix in some color. I'm not sure of the cultivar, maybe Pure and Simple. It's a stunner with the sun-bright yellow and the graceful ruffles.

Peonies by Mary Oliver

This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers
and they open ---
pools of lace,
white and pink ---
the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again ---
beauty the brave, the exemplary,