Tamed Violets

Every year when I start to clean up the beds in spring, I find a wild violet in the vegetable beds - more or less in the same place. I always hesitate pulling it up. It's demure prettiness and reputation from Shakespearean Sonnets to being one of the flowers Emily Dickinson asked to be buried with make it difficult to percieve this flower icon as a weed.

So this year, for a change I put it into a tiny pot, mulched it with some moss (another piece of garden debris) and it's been enjoying a renewed status on the window sill the last couple of weeks. It sulks when it's not watered but revives instantly and it was nice to have those pretty flowers to enjoy for another couple of weeks.

Speaking of Emily Dickinson, I'm really looking forward to the exhibition at the NYBG The Poetry of Flowers- what a lovely idea to combine a recreation of her 19th-century New England garden with audio of her poetry, exhibition of her watercolors, photographs and discover more about the gardener who became a poet.

Spring Line

I zipped on and off the High Line yesterday since I was in that part of town to see what was happening, racing through it as I had to catch a train. Two things caught my eye, pink tulips just because they were pretty and the daffodils above. According to the High Line plant list they are Narcissus Hawera and they now join the vintage Van Sion on my extremely short list of daffodils I would actually choose to grow. The Van Sion makes the list because of its unusual green color and dense double texture, this narcissus would be because of its adorable daintiness. Tiny pretty flowers on tiny clumps naturalizing easily in clumps of grass. They were also the perfect scale for the somewhat limited space of the high line.

+ OccasionalOasis: Passage for Two

Early Spring

The Forsythia around Mamaroneck is already a gaudy show painting the early spring landscape with broad brushstrokes of bright yellow. Its a conflicting appreciation of instant color and then visual overload. I learnt last year however that this actually makes for an interesting backdrop for photos, given enough distance to provide a blur of color.

Here, tight magenta Rhododendron and red Maple buds contrast nicely with the vibrant yellow of a Forsythia hedge. This early spring palette has already progressed quickly to richer warm colors. Just last week, on a cold but sunny morning I squinted at some pale fragile Magnolia blooms against a cold blue sky. Today, warm and sunny, I weeded and tidied up the garden taking in the purplish shoots of the Indigo, the red fronds, shoots and stems of Bronze Fennel, Euphorbia and Berberis. Color is back.

+ OccasionalOasis: New Zealand

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