Of trees and greenness

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.  ~Pedro Calderon de la Barca (17th century Spanish dramatist)

greenwoodlandEvery window frames a scene of green. Those first lovely hints of verdure in April have grown fulsome and lush in May and each moment in the garden brings a sense of deep peace and healing. The weather seesaws between warm sunny days and cool rainy ones, pushing and pulling the garden into breathtaking loveliness.gardentreesWP

Delicate flowers in tones of white and blush pink sing against the green resonance of their leaves while floral buds of deep jewel tones promise brighter scenarios to come. (Click on any image to see a larger photo)

The woodland trees – oak, ash, maple, hickory – are in their glory, leaves unfurled in a rich tapestry of fresh new color, that brief moment in time before they settle into the solemn shades of summer.

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. ~Martin Luther

The trees call to me as they arch over the garden, protective, connecting earth to sky, a verdant canopy that magically sifts and filters the light. “Walk in our greenness” they seem to say, “partake of our calm and silence.”summersnowflake

Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven. ~Tagore

I wish you a green and glorious May; I invite you to walk through a woodland and breathe in harmony with the earth.

See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence . . . We need silence to be able to touch souls. ~Mother Teresa

All photos ©2017 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved.

The Merry Month

The skies were bright,
Our hearts were light
in the merry merry month of May ~Stephen Foster

Circles in MayMay is coming to a close and the garden continues to change before my eyes. The spectacular bloom of spring has softened into lush green growth while clematis, iris, and peonies have taken the place of daffodils and tulips. Soft tones of blue, mauve, and peach dominate the color palette while the scent of honeysuckle and Viburnum fill the air. A few roses are beginning to open as the May bloom season dissolves into early summer.

In the coldframe, hundreds of plants are patiently awaiting their entrance into the earth and I wonder what I was thinking when I started so many flats of annuals deep in the winter. Planting seeds was a sure sign of longing for the promise of spring in a gray cold world, and now that world is merry again with color and scent! (All photos ©2015 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved)

Longing for spring and celebrating its arrival is an old tale. There are many versions of songs that celebrate the joys of May in the northern hemisphere; here are a few to entertain you as you view some scenes of the late May garden.

Stephen Foster’s “The Merry Merry Month of May” sung by Nelson Eddy

Henry Youell’s madrigal “In the Merry Month of May”

William Byrd’s “Sweet and Merry Month of May”

The Simpson’s version of “Merry Month of May”

We Must Be Mad With Joy

 “People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.” ~Iris Murdoch, Irish author

Garden after rain

Garden after rain

The thunderstorms passed by quickly, leaving a few large drops of rain in their wake and some empty threats of weather violence.  We have fared far better than our neighbors in the American West, those unfortunate victims of extreme tornados who still struggle to recover their lives. Even as I grieve for them, I celebrate my own small corner of land in the foothills of western Pennsylvania.

Tonight, the garden in twilight is luxuriating in its richness of leaf and flower and I cannot end my stroll. It is bewitching. Leaves of every shape and form spring out and blend – all of the plants in my garden touch and jostle each other – no Puritan “touch me not” unplanted spaces here! Oh, this is an excess of green and growing that sings a great chorus in the dusk of a warm early summer day.  Yes, many plants bloom in May – the insignia of iris, the globes of allium, the stars of clematis, the blooms of columbine, lilac and others.  But May is feckless in its headlong plunge into green growth from the carpet beneath one’s feet to the canopy among the trees. May is fragrant and headstrong, the vibrant green path leading and spilling us into June.

Lamb's ear rising up to bloom

Lamb’s ear rising up to bloom

The silver lamb’s ear have risen to a foot high impossibility in the past few days, ready to bloom and nourish the bees –their bright foliage outlines the beds in the garden. The swords of daylily leaves create circular swirls of green blades, predicting their July bloom – a  promise of color and form to come. Beauty bush and lilac burst with thousands of tiny flowers, mounds of color and scent that greet the morning and bless the warmth of the evening, alive with the buzzing of bees seeking nectar. And so it goes. May is so full of voluptuous beauty and scented flowers that it sends the senses reeling with the experience of it, making us mad with joy.

Wild black cherry (Prunus serotina)

Wild black cherry (Prunus serotina)

The surrounding woods are filled with the blooms of native black cherry, dangling white racemes that scent the air with their sweetness. Every day, a dozen new flowers awake and open and bring a new shape and scent to the bounty of the garden. I can hardly keep up; I mulch and trim and plant seedlings but it is as if I were on the end of the “crack the whip” game – I can only hold on tight and try my best to serve the beauty of the garden as I am flung and swung through its spurt of green growth and scented flowering. Here are a few images captured that may share some small part of this beauty; click on the first image to open the gallery. (All photographs ©2013 Lynn Emberg Purse)

It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves.  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

To see more photos and read more about the fragrant wild black cherry that is native to the eastern US, see Bernadette’s post Wild Black Cherry.