Thursday, June 30, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Dear Delilah,

Summer is my favorite season, and not just because it's the season of my favorite holiday: my birthday. I love soaking up the longer hours of sunlight, and being able to go outside without layers and layers of clothing (most days). I love thunderstorms and rainbows. I love food on the grill, and I love eating it outside. I love the variety of fresh, local produce available at the Farmer's Markets. One of the things I love the very most is gardening. I love the range of beautiful colors that can only be found in nature. I love the intoxicating fragrance of flowers in bloom. I love watching the birds, bees, and butterflies have their daily garden parties. I love the satisfaction of planting a seed, or a bulb, or a tiny little plant start, and watching it mature over the years into all of its glory.

Right around the 4th of July is always my favorite time of year in the garden. It's not coincidence that it's the time of year when my favorite flowers, my lilies, really start to shine. It's when the bee balm starts to peak, its mild but delicious scent drifting halfway down the block, it's bold blooms giving fireworks everywhere a run for their money. It's a time where everything is lush and green, and when some of my favorite summer blooms are showing off, or just on the verge of showing off their beauty.

This year, when we frolic among our flowers, the focus is on naming the colors. I look forward to years of gardening to come with you right there in the thick of it,to helping you recognize which plants are weeds to pull, which smell delightful, which have medicinal properties, and which make the best and most long lasting bouquets. I look forward to explaining which flowers the bees like, which the hummingbirds prefer, which attract butterflies, and which have seeds that the birds love to eat. I can't wait to watch in wonder along with you while the bees dance their pollination dance, and while we observe the gradual life cycles of the flowers from when their first shoots poke up through the ground to when they go to seed and turn brown, until the next year when it all begins again.

As beautiful as all of those flowers are, when I look around our back yard, not a single one holds a candle to the beauty that bursts from within you.



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