The thing about a garden is that it never looks the same as it did the last time you looked. A tree may grow leaves….then flowers…then berries…then the leaves change color…then they fall, exposing the bark. No matter when you take a stroll through the garden it always looks a little different than it did the last time.
Whenever I have visitors to my garden, no matter how much they are admiring of what they see, I find myself explaining that it doesn’t always look ‘this’ way; That last week those Irises were not blooming and they will stop blooming in a couple of weeks but the flowers will be replaced by seedheads that I like to use in dried arrangements.
Those big, blowsy white flowers that just appeared on the Oak Leaf Hydrangeas will be pink in a couple of weeks. The blue sheets of Chionodoxa (Glory of the Snow) that are covering the ground will disappear completely, replaced by whatever plants come up in their place – Irises, Japanese Anemones, Ornamental Grasses, etc. And they will also change – the grasses, for example starting out as green leaves, then perhaps adding soft, beigy-pink plumes, then turning gold for autumn.
So when people ask me when the garden is at its best I don’t have an answer. Except…you should have seen it last week…or you should come back next week.
This changing beauty is one of the things I love about gardening, so it’s not really a lament. Rather, it’s the Gardener’s Song and we sing it constantly.