April 9, 2015
“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
May 20, 2014
“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”:
May 15, 2014
“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
” . . . 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.
April 29, 2014
April 19, 2014
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:
May 16, 2011
April 5, 2011
“Every spring is the only spring — a perpetual astonishment.”
— Ellis Peters
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.