Saturday, May 8, 2010

In The Blink Of An Eye.

I find it rather bittersweet that many of my favorite spring time vignettes come and go with heart breaking speed. Perhaps that is why I look forward to their appearance in the garden with such anticipation and treasure them so dearly. Although my daffodils and tulips have been making a lovely display for a good two months now, the flowering of the four Delaware Valley White azaleas that anchor the corners of the lily pond in the Blue & White garden seems to pass in the blink of an eye.

I recently purchased a new camera and have been snapping photos every day in hopes of capturing the cloud of white flowers at their peak. This year the azalea blossoms briefly coincided with the opening of the crepe-like petals of my white tree peony, an equally fleeting and rare treat.

On the other side of my house the Clematis Montana Rubens that climbs across my roof is covered in vanilla scented pink flowers.

Although its flowering is brief in comparison with most other clematis varieties,Montana Rubens mounts an incomparable display. Unlike many of its cousins it isn't in the least bit fussy, tolerates full sun as well as part shade and rarely succumbs to the dreaded clematis wilt.

Perhaps more subtle, but in my opinion equally lovely is the unfurling of the red tinged leaves of the ornamental rhubarb, Rheum Palmatum var Tanguticum, that anchors the back side of the farm pond. While the leaves will retain some of their vibrant color for most of the summer, they are most striking in the spring.

I find them particularly lovely when combined with the bold chartreuse foliage of the dramatic hosta Sum and Substance.

In another week the azalea blossoms will litter the ground. I may pause to lament their passing before reminding myself that a successful landscape design doesn't rely on the bounty of a single plant. It is the overall composition; the interplay of physical structure and plant selection that truly make a garden beautiful. Or perhaps, I'll simply turn my attention to the peonies, roses, and bearded irises that are about to burst into bloom.