Lost in the garden’s beauty

I don’t claim to speak for gardener’s as a group, but I suppose that like me, many are fascinated by the beauty of simple things, today perhaps the tiniest violet (below), considered a weed by many, but richly colored and beautiful enough that the gardener momentarily forgets the woes of this world. There are plenty of green leafed violets in the weedy lawn that are tolerated, though not loved, but this lovely dark leafed violet was planted years ago, somewhere, I forget where, and it has scattered itself around this end of the garden. Never is it obtrusive, nor does it aggressively invade beyond its welcome. Occasionally, a clump appears in a crevice between boulders that border a patio. Perfect.

While green leafed violets invade the lawn, this dark leafed violet was planted and it has scattered through sunny garden beds. While violets are often considered weeds, this dark violet fills open spaces without causing problems for even the smallest neighboring plants.

There are a few benches and several small patios in the garden that were constructed, not to entertain our few visitors, but to serve as points to linger, to contemplate, and now more than ever the gardener must have pleasant distractions.

I am often fascinated by flowers or foliage, but I’m also captivated by the antics of birds and squirrels that are seen in abundance, and marvel as tiny frogs leap for safety as I pass by. Over the weekend I lounged on the patio closest to the house, bleary eyed for the moment, lost in thoughtlessness but admiring new growth of Solomon’s Seals (above) just poking above ground. Cardinals hopped from branch to branch between Japanese maples that border the stone patio, and in front of me is a crudely constructed stone path that runs alongside a stream lined with moss covered stones.

The shimmering water and richness of the bright green moss was interrupted by movement, a cat, I thought for a moment, since neighbors’ cats constantly prowl the garden and one overly friendly white cat is now a regular visitor. But then I was startled to see a red coated, well fed fox, a husky fellow that my wife and I have admired from the kitchen window in recent weeks. I suppose I saw the fox before it saw me. It strolled around the turn in the path heading onto the patio, ten feet away from my comfortable chair. Startled, I managed a yell and a forceful stomp, and fortunately the fox had the wits to turn tail and scurry off, perhaps more frightened than I was at the moment.

And while confrontations with potentially dangerous wildlife are not everyday occurrences, there is more to enjoy in the garden besides flowers.

The Fernleaf Japanese maple (Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’) is most splendid with autumn leaf coloring, but its flowers are the most prominent of all the maples in the garden.
The dissected leaves of ‘Seriyu’ Japanese maple hang over the front walk.
Catkins of the pendulous branched Hornbeam are eye catching in early spring.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Anne Kelly says:

    Our gardens are indeed a refuge for us these days Dave. Thank you so much for sharing yours. It was like a momentary retreat and very peaceful and beautiful!

  2. Bridget says:

    I agree with you about the beauty and cheeriness of the humble violet. I have many in my small lawn in my small yard in my small city. They haven’t emerged yet here in zone 5b, but looking for changes sure is engaging. Thanks!

  3. Anne Mommsen says:

    Ohhhh! I don’t remember how I first stumbled across your blog. It was years ago. Anyway, I’ve always enjoyed it, never more than this time of year–Minnesota had more snow two days ago, and we always wait a very long time for our spring to come, and quarantine doesn’t help. All to say, this was a true balm in my in box. Thank you!!! Anne

  4. Karima Azzouz says:

    I really enjoy your blogs and I’m in N. Va so all your post are so a propos for me! I only just noticed the lovely little violets this year. I recently cleared a section of my lawn and mulched to grow roses and other plants. Should I keep this area clear of the violets? Are they invasive and will they disturb the other plants?

    1. Dave says:

      Violets seed and spread aggressively into open spaces. They are very shallow rooted so they will not harm most plants.

      1. Karima Azzouz says:

        Thank you, I’ll leave them then, they will look so pretty against the mulch.

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