GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
There is a beautiful, rather elegiac song by the American composer, Samuel Barber called “Sure On This Shining Night”. The piece has a particularly luscious phrase–“high summer holds the earth”. Right now in my garden, that phrase comes to life. The middle of the daylily bloom cycle has coincided with the beginning of the flowering of the Asiatic lilies. The honey-scented butterfly bushes sport new flower panicles every day and many of the roses are enjoying a second flush. Nasturtiums and cosmos and annual poppies and marigolds have begun popping their blossoms. Things have not gone near-dormant as they do in August. The fullness and abundance and the rich combination of scents makes this time of year almost better than spring.
My garden is full of roses in pale colors—yellows, shades of peach, pinks, white and cream. I have only one really red rose, and that is ‘Othello’, an Austin English rose that I got as part of a package deal several years ago. Even in bud it stands out among its pastel-colored bedmates, and the blossoms turn almost black as they age. Like the other roses it is blooming for the second time this growing season, and yesterday I was struck by its beauty. ‘Othello’ brought back memories of my father, a great lover of red roses, who died five years ago on Father’s Day. My father and I had different gardening orientations. He was from a generation of gardeners who truly believed in the slogan “better living through chemistry.” He treated the lawn, trees, shrubs and plants with a wide variety of highly refined fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. The lawn stayed green, the roses were perfection itself and blackspot never dared besmirch a singleRead more on backyardgardener.com