Bleeding  hearts

Bleeding hearts

“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope.  Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith.  Nothing we do, however, virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love.  No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint.  Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.”
— Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History

 

The Georgetown warehouse of the Seattle Wholesale Growers' Market

The Georgetown warehouse of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

“We tend to consider bloom to be the ultimate gift of the garden, but the structure is just as important. For example, the phlox is beautiful in its mass of foliage, even before the blossoms emerge.”
— Stanley Kunitz, from The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden

Kunitz finds metaphors for his poetry writing in his flower garden.  Here is one of its lessons:  “In a poem, the secrets of the poem give it its tension and gift of emerging sense and form, so that it’s not always the flowering in the poem and the specific images that make it memorable, but the tensions and physicality, the rhythms, the underlying song.”

So, too, one of the lessons I’ve learned from the flower growing experts at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market is that you can make a spectacular bouquet from stems, twigs, pods, leaves, and things scavenged from nature.  Blooming is definitely not all a plant can offer.  There’s plenty going on in all seasons of the year.

The Seattle Wholesale Growers Market is a farm-owned cooperative with a focus on local, seasonal, and sustainable flowers.  I dropped in last week and was pleased to see that the Market is growing.  It’s expanded its warehouse space and is gearing up for its busiest year yet.

Here are some photos from mid-May at the Market celebrating its “underlying song”:

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Sweet peas

Sweet peas from Jello Mold Farm

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And sweet pea vines

And sweet pea vines

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Calla lilies from Z Callas

Calla lilies from Z Callas

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“Shadows we loved and the patterns they covered the ground with
Tapestries, mystical, faint in the breathless air.”
— F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

Shadows of bleeding hearts

Shadows of bleeding hearts

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” . . . find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides.”
— Junichiro Tanizaki

We have reached the end of the bleeding heart blooming season.  The flowers are fading fast, but the dancing shadows make their own mysterious art.

Bleeding hearts

Bleeding hearts

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Watercolor sketch of bleeding hearts

Watercolor sketch of bleeding hearts

Another watercolor sketch of bleeding hearts

Another watercolor sketch of bleeding hearts

 

 

Bleeding hearts

Bleeding hearts

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“How invisibly
it changes color
in this world,
the flower
of the human heart.”
— Komachi

Watercolor sketch of bleeding hearts

Watercolor sketch of bleeding hearts

 

Wildly exuberant branches, still bare

Wildly exuberant branches, still bare

I love visiting Jello Mold Farm, my favorite flower grower in the Skagit Valley.  I’ve stopped by in all seasons, but this week’s visit was the quietest by far.  The Skagit Valley’s annual tulip festival is in full swing, and the fields there are full of colorful blooms.  At Jello Mold Farm, in contrast, the flower beds are just now beginning to wake from their winter sleep.  One of my painter friends commented, “Talk about peaceful — it felt a bit like a ghost town because you could see how much work had taken place yet no one was there.  I would have thought the rapture had occurred . . .”

The greenhouses were full of plant starts and seedlings.  The flower beds were tidy.  It was as if everything was holding its breath, knowing that a few more weeks of sunshine and warm weather will bring on far too many tasks to keep up with.

Here are some photos of Jello Mold Farm in early Spring:

Bonnie displayiing the "lady in the bathtub" hidden inside a bleeding heart

Bonnie displaying the “lady in the bathtub” hidden inside a bleeding heart

Lovely, ruffled helebore

Lovely, ruffled helebore

Greenhouses open to the warmer temperatures

Greenhouses open to the warmer temperatures

Sweet peas just starting to blossom

Sweet peas just starting to blossom

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Young poppy

Young poppy

Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller

Bird in blossoms

Bird in blossoms

Old chestnut clinging to a tree

Old chestnut clinging to a tree

New leaves, chestnut tree

New leaves, chestnut tree

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A few early lilacs

A few early lilacs

 

 

Hearts All in a Row

May 16, 2011

Bleeding hearts all in a row

Perfect, pink bleeding heart

Watercolor sketch of bleeding hearts

Another watercolor sketch of bleeding hearts

“Every spring is the only spring — a perpetual astonishment.”
     — Ellis Peters

Seasonal room at the Volunteer Park Conservatory

Mirrored ball in the seasonal room at the Volunteer Park Conservatory

The seasonal room at Seattle’s Volunteer Park Conservatory currently features hydrangeas.  I love the range of colors showcased in the displays.  I think it’s my favorite seasonal exhibit so far.

Blue hydrangeas

Blue hydrangeas with purple tinge

Yellow hydrangeas with blue tinge

White bleeding hearts with blue hydrangeas

Pink on pink: bleeding hearts and hydrangeas

White hydrangeas

White hydrangeas with daffodil

White bleeding hearts with daffodils