We are busy in the garden making a small corner for a cutting garden where we will plant the fragrant plants of the evening, white and ethereal and smelling ever so yummy!!! The ghostly Nicotiana and the lovely evening scented stock; the gorgeous stephanotis and some humble sweet alyssum for edging.
We stop for coffee, and I wander down the garden path to where the peonies are starting to bloom. Indeed, the ferny Oriental peony is already beginning to fade, - their beauty is so short lived. In our garden the buttercups that accompany them continue their golden blooms for another few weeks, and push further into the surrounding Iris.
Just today the peony tree we planted when we moved here five years ago has started its annual blossoming, - every year a few more blooms.
These peonies are a forerunner to the grand opening of the passionate peony buds on the plants that we brought with us when we moved and that are now becoming familiar and at home in this new hillside garden.
Watch for them, - another week and the garden will be heavy with their fragrance and beauty.
The soft lovely images that Mary Oliver evokes in her poem 'Peonies' will keep us content until that time.
This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers
and they open ---
pools of lace,
white and pink ---
and all day the black ants climb over them,
boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away
to their dark, underground cities ---
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,
the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
their red stems holding
all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again ---
beauty the brave, the exemplary,
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?
Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,
with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are