‘Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rose-bud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.
I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter
Thy leaves o’er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.
So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
And from Love’s shining circle
The gems drop away.
When true hearts lie wither’d,
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! Who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?
In shady shrubby places, right early in the year, I lift my flowers’ faces, O come and find them here! My stems are thin and straying, with leaves of glossy sheen. The bare brown earth arraying, for they are ever green. No great renown have I. Yet who does not love Periwinkle’s blue?
~ Cicely Mary Barker
The Spider’s Web
The spider, dropping down from twig,
a plan of her devising,
A thin premeditated rig
To use in rising.
And all that journey down through space,
In cool descent and loyal hearted,
She spins a ladder to the place
From where she started.
Thus I, gone forth as spiders do
In spider’s web a truth discerning,
Attach one silken thread to you
For my returning.
There are lots of flowers blooming in the garden now and each one is a tiny little miracle!
“Spring has returned. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
Owls practice active patience as they wait long periods of time for their prey and those of us who would like to see owls need to practise patience too. Their use of the power of stillness would have kept them hidden from my sight if it wasn’t for the fortunately low angle of the winter sun that brought them to my attention.
The stillness of owls and the comical busyness of ducks, it was a perfect winter morning at the bird sanctuary!
“There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.”
~ Robert Lynd
“I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.”
White is often thought of as a background for other colours, but in the garden white can come alive and stand out on its own. I have been appreciating the white flowers in my garden more this year, the big and bold ones that grab your attention as well as the tiny and delicate ones that are like little hidden treasures when you find them. White brightens up dark, shady spots and most white and pale flowers are more strongly scented than their darker counterparts, which is also always appreciated in the garden.
The colour white represents purity, clarity, hope and new beginnings, all of which can be nurtured in a garden. It also represents peace, since the white flag is a universal symbol of truce.
The colour white doesn’t absorb any of the colours in the visible light spectrum, it reflects them all back, that’s why we see it as white. So, white flowers share all of the colours of the rainbow with us.
“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
Early spring days bring many small pleasures that I am always so grateful for: longer days and the warmth of sun rays just barely penetrating the still chilly air; sprouts and buds bringing signs of life and colour to the garden; new bird songs and chatter filling the trees.
These seemingly simple pleasures are much more complex than they appear to be. The more that I learn about the natural world, the more I am in awe of the amazing complexity that is involved in even the smallest of details. Every time I discover something new I realize how much more there is to learn.
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
~ Carl Sagan