" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

May 26, 2010

Spring Garden Conversations

Join me on a walk across the dirt road into the garden where you can feel free to pick a pink camelia blossom for your hair or your lapel. Every visit is a special occasion and must be treated as such. Maddy, the dog, will greet you unless she's in wicked pursuit of a flash of white fur on the behind of some frightened bunny hightailing it for the hedge row. The many different coloured columbines hang like raindrops, delicate flicks of pinks, purple, orange, mauve and white whereas the tightly packed begonia buds, hints of lipstick red around the rim, stand like upside-down exclamation marks.

The iris, two different versions, compete for attention with the creamy peach and pink rhododendron. I've never seen one that colour before. How did the colours of mango and bubblegum gelato wind up stirred into one delicate ruffly petal? Mauve and white lilac buds hang so as to require only the smallest of tip toe action for a whiff of their perfume-light scent.  

Watch your step as you take a closer look at the purple iris, it's bottom petal a large purple and white tongue ready to lick you if you get too close. A garden snake, hint of a yellow line running the full length of its back like the worn out yellow lines on the road in front of the house before they just got painted, is seeking shelter in the underbrush heading towards the pond. "That's good," she says. "Eat the slugs". Squishy, shiny licorice strips sucking on the earth.

What kind of lavender is that? A miniature bushel of lavendar is what it looks like. French? No, it's topped lavender.  A rose is a rose is a rose. Especially a pink rose climbing up the aging lattice. Although, I admit, white and yellow have always been my favorite.  Those buds over there, yellow and white close to the ground are, she tells me, a Geum chiloense ‘Mrs. Bradshaw’. Don't you just love the names of flowers? Geum chiloense 'Lady Stratheden' is purple star-shaped. As many colours as Crocs.

The poppies are not the kind that produce opium seeds but they are the orangest of orange, a cover for the vibrant purple moss on top of the green pods tucked like a secret inside the petals.

Tomato plants grow like miniature soldiers standing at attention in their milk carton condos  ready to be transplanted into the garden to be watched over by the fruit trees: fig, peach, golden plum, cherry, apples, two blueberry bushes, pear, a hazelnut tree. It's a zero-mile garden in action. 

They can feed themselves self sufficiently my neighbours. They can feed me. And, I don't just mean my tummy!

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