Monday, September 27, 2010

Berries and Cream and Whirling Butterflies

Somehow, these roses remind me of frothy, whipped, double cream – rich and thick and perfect with freshly-picked wild blackberries.

Blackberries are hugely abundant here in late summer and it's common to see happy pickers on the roadsides with buckets and bowls, eating as much as they put in their containers. As I pass them in their anonymity, I like to imagine what scrumptious delights they are going to treat their families to that night – pie or cobbler or jam from their grandmother's recipe.

I really do use this gate post in our garden quite often to rest jars and pitchers on while I'm tending to the roses. Sometimes I hang my camera from it, too. This is the fence that divides the upper front lawn (seen above) with the upper back garden. We have many bird baths, but the one you can just make out here is by far the most popular. None of the birds would touch it when it was first purchased but now they jostle and spar with one another to get in first.

Tremendous bird activity in the garden this morning – robins and tohees and jays and crows and chickadees. A hummer is resting on the wire outside my window as I write this, which reminds me to freshen up their feeders. We don't leave food for the other birds – plenty of worms and berries for them – but the hummers we take care of throughout the winter when nothing is blooming.

Canning jars are so nostalgic, aren't they? I have begun my own collection in recent years but most that I use in photos are borrowed from Mom, who has dozens in all sizes dating from the early 1900s. My parents had an antique shop on our property when we were growing up and Sundays were spent on country drives to go "antiquing". I remember their thrill of expectation and discovery exploring condemned old houses.

These are all David Austin roses – 'The Shepherdess', left and 'A Shropshire Lad', right.

'Lady Emma Hamilton' and 'The Shepherdess'. The Shepherdess so very much resembles scoops of vanilla ice cream. Mmm, perhaps I'll get some sugar cones...

One of my favorite flowering plants is Gaura lindheimeri, known as Whirling Butterflies or Beeblossom or Indian Feather. Aren't those the most wonderful names? To me, they are such magical and sweet plants. This one is 'Pink Cloud', with beautiful burgundy and green stems.

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