Solace in a difficult world

White blooms of the serviceberry (Amelanchier) drift to the ground, nearly covering the walk and clogging a section of the stream (below) that runs roughly parallel to the stone path. I sit on the stone patio, rocking gently, fighting to stay awake in a low slung chair that has been refinished several times, and probably is due for another touch up before the metal slats and springs rust through. Happily, I’m working, keeping busy as always in the spring, so there’s little time for such projects. The cushion is slightly damp from a brief shower last night.

Birds chirp noisily in this upper part of the rear garden, and a squirrel approaches cautiously overhead, leaping from the serviceberry to a threadleafed Japanese maple, then to a dogwood with pendulous branches that it too shaded so that it hasn’t flowered in the recent decade. There is little reason to keep it around, but it does no harm, and it’s likely that neighbors will crowd it out before I’m motivated to chop it out.

Occasionally, my phone will buzz with notice of an email or text, or some other important goings on that I’ll happily ignore for the moment. There are several places in the garden ideal for such contemplation, and two where I will often drift into dreamland. I’m told that I must watch my exposure to the sunlight as I lounge beside the sunny koi pond, but here, with the spring snowfall of blossoms, a second newly leafed Japanese maple filters the late afternoon sun.

Perennials and ephemerals have emerged in the many shaded parts of this garden, though several hostas are barely above ground where the deep cover of leaves insulates from the warmth of this early spring. I see cultivars of Asian Solomon’s Seals (Polygonatum spp.) a foot tall or more in photos shared by acquaintances, but here several are just emerging, and a few cannot be seen, even when the leaves are brushed aside. There seems no way that these have perished after this mild winter, but I do recall stepping on one last autumn and hoping the damage was reparable.

A number of trilliums (above and below) have been planted in recent years, with many more appearing than I recall from a year ago. Of course, I don’t remember planting most, so I wonder if these were planted or if they are seedlings. Probably, they were planted, and who can keep up when so much planting is only interrupted by winter? Only a few of the trilliums are flowering. I suppose with another year there will be more, and ones flowering are likely to be from the first batch.

The few yellow trout lilies (Erythronium, below) are flowering, and I think that a number more were planted that have failed to come up. Several years ago, a small colony disappeared with no discernible cause from one year to the next, so I replanted in several spots, hoping to discover their preferred habitat. The survivors are shaded under an old dogwood, and I can’t figure what makes this spot ideal, so more trial and error will be required. Fortunately, this is the place, and there is plenty of time for contemplation.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Linus says:

    What companion plants do you have with your trilliums? Looking for some late growing plants that are not aggressive besides ferns and hostas.

    1. Dave says:

      Trilliums have been added in recent years wherever there was a small space between hellebores or ferns, or in gaps beneath shrubs that border paths. Sometimes I consider complementary plants, other times I plant wherever there’s a small space.

  2. Nora says:

    Your garden is to die for……I love the photo of your path!!

    1. Dave says:

      The path and stream are my favorite place in the garden, so I often sit in the evening as the sun sets, looking down the path.

  3. We had flowers from a large crabapple looking like snow showers as strong wind came through a few days ago. The path picture is a keeper.

    1. Dave says:

      The cherries that are so much a part of this area are magical when the flowers are fading and the wind is blowing.

  4. David L Jones says:

    The pathway with the stone is beautiful. Did you do the stone pathway yourself.

    1. Dave says:

      I no longer cut my own pitiful lawn, but every other plant, patio, walk, rock, or water feature was done by me. I am very good at accomplishing new creations, but fair to middling at maintaining.

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