Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday

I just finished reading 'The Lost Garden' by Helen Humphreys and may I say that if you are feeling overwhelmingly cheerful and need a heavy scattering of black cloud - run to the library or book store.   It was the story that drew me in - a horticulturist from the Royal Horticultural Society who has signed on to turn an estate garden into a war-time potato factory with a bunch of Land Girls.   She arrives late by a week to her new position then names her helpers after varieties of potatoes because they aren't nice to her.

During her gardening adventures she finds a Lost Garden and starts to root around there all day, leaving the Potato Girls to potato away.  The old garden has 3 sections, Longing, Loss, and something else and she really isn't able to figure it out.  Several of the major characters die, in or because of the war, documented in one breezy paragraph, sort of the way you might say, milk gone, oranges ok, need bread.   The handsome captain she lusts after in that sort of TAKE ME NOW fashion spends most of his time reading poetry and being well built, groomed and handsome.  He used to have a best friend (now dead, surprise!) who he shared a bare chested ride with on the Toronto ferry.  So sadly she appears to have been the only one not following the clues in the previous chapters and was completely gobsmacked to learn that the crush of her life is gay.  There was also a Canadian soldier who knit sweaters, but wasn't gay, but I think that was a device just to try to throw us off.  Fortunately, it was a very short book, and it ended like this:

"The thing about gardens is that everyone thinks they go on growing, that in winter they sleep and in spring they rise.  But it's more that they die and return, die and return.  They lose themselves.  They haunt themselves." Followed by:  "Every story is about death....."

It just makes my head hurt thinking of my plants being dead and losing themselves, haunting themselves, so I'm going to just pretend that they're all just asleep waiting for warmer weather which must be coming soon.  So I've taken the liberty of grabbing photos from other years to show you the wildflowers that I'll have in my garden next month to show you.

 Hepatica soaking wet:

Hepatica at its prettiest:

 Sanguinaria candensis  

A few weeks later:

 Very pretty leaves after the flowers are done:

 Dicentra culcullaria - shivering in the rain and in flower above.  Below my favourite Mertensia virginica:

May it continue its beauty sleep until it's ready to delight me.

For more wonderful wildflowers from around the world visit Gail at


Lea said...

Beautiful wildflowers!
Happy Wildflower Wednesday!
Lea's Menagerie

Jason said...

Love the bloodroot and Hepatica ... as to the novel, it sounds like the author wasn't much of a botanist. Plants really don't die in the winter, they just go dormant. But I guess that would undermine the message of the novel.

Barbarapc said...

Thanks Lea. Looking forward to taking photos of ones that will be blooming this year.

Barbarapc said...

So true, the potato crops just seemed to grow on their own. No words on progress or harvesting, or being proud of how the garden was coming along. Didn't seem it was written by someone who knew anything about gardening at all. B

Appalachian Lady said...

Your spring is so far ahead of us in the mountains I am looking forward to seeing the Virginia Bluebells along the creek and bloodroot in the woods. I don't have Hepatic here have seen it elsewhere. I love your photos--thanks for giving me a glimpse of spring!

Barbarapc said...

Alas, these were photos from last year and we were well ahead of ourselves. You and I both will have to get our glimpse of spring through photos for the next little while. Thanks for visiting.

Gail said...

Barbara, Your posts are the best reads! This may be the best and most honest book review I've read in a long time...Love your last years photos and hope they awake to charm you soon as they're ready...Have a sweet weekend. Gail

Helen said...

Barbara, Great to meet another Toronto blogger -- introduced through Paul Jung's weblog. I'm still chuckling at your book review, and enjoyed your plant preview. Hope we meet again!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Barbara,
I enjoyed your post. When my eyes landed on the Virginia bluebells, I was forming my comment saying they are my favorite, when I then read that they are one of yours, too. Spring is here now, and lots of plants are waking up from their winter sleep. Now, if we'd keep the 60s and 70s around for more than a day a week, that would be nice. The next few days are expected to be mild, so I'll take that for now. I hope spring reaches you soon.

Barbarapc said...

Helen, terrific to meet you. Thanks for visiting. B.

Barbarapc said...

Thanks Sue. I'm thinking we're about a month away from the blossoms I enjoyed last year at this time, but it will make for an easier cleanup.

Paul Jung said...

And thank you for mentioning me, Helen!

Barbara has an appealing blog "voice" and grows a Hamamelis, what's not to like?

Nice bloodroot, btw!