14 November 2011

best of all are the words that shape the leaves

Soon. Very soon.

Soon.  Very Soon.

In the space of about a week, all these leaves will be in my yard.

Most of the battening down for winter is done; I spent the weekend digging holes and burying things, like my friends the squirrels. Like the squirrels, I will forget exactly where I put some things and find myself wondering next spring how exactly that got there. There often comes a point even in the most disciplined planting when the gardener looks at the handful of bulbs left to go, thinks 'oh, to heck with it,' and tucks them into the nearest patch of garden bed all anyhow.

It happens often, too, that while planting bulbs (carefully, according to plan) that one finds bulbs planted in previous years. This is usually no big thing as the old bulbs can be nestled back down in the earth, but occasionally the gardener spears a lily bulb, or slices through a fine fat daffodil with a trowel.

A volley of language of which your mother would not approve follows. One only hopes that the neighbourhood children are not within earshot, or at least are shrieking so loudly in their play that they drown out the profanities.

Among the things I buried this weekend were more tulips ('Ivory Floradale' and 'Menton'), some snowdrops, some tiny cyclamen (hederifolium), and ten Allium karataviense.  These last go by the common name of Turkestan onion, which makes them sound more like a central Asian vegetable than a broad-leaved, white- or rose-violet-flowered border dweller.  To me, most alliums look too much like the hideous weedy wild garlic that afflicts lawns and gardens, but the little Turkestani alliums are charming.

I planted a few perennials also:  some campanulas ('Samantha' and 'Pantaloons'); more phlox; a Japanese painted fern; and some outlandish purple penstemon ('Prairie Twilight') that I hope will help fill the midsummer void.

So let the leaves fall.  I don't know a gardener in the world who dislikes free mulch.

Howard Nemerov

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...