The Gardener’s Lament: You Should Have Been Here When…..

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.