Sunday, May 22, 2011

Come Go - Wax Wane - Ebb Flow

Of all places there is no place that belies the status quo the way a garden does. The garden's present condition literally lasts only a moment. Petals fall, sepals open, blooms turn brown and crisp, new growth arrives bright green while the gardener is mostly oblivious to any of it. The luscious fully open bloom mesmerizes her. The bush covered in color and scent distracts him. Yes, there's no denying the gardener's magnificently capable brain, but no gardener is in the garden 24/7. The time-lapsed changes go uncaptured, missed forever. Days go by between visiting the full flush and finding the deadheads, and the gardener's thoughts may follow these lines: it's here; it's all done; when will it be back?

The truth is the garden is always here; it's never done; and it never left. Stuff is always happening. Do you see a cluster of flowers past their prime? Move your gaze to the right or left or even in between, and I'll bet you see new buds just forming to take their place. That's what I found today. I walked into the garden with a notion in my head that this flush was over. Then the garden set me straight with its burgeoning newness. It was everywhere. Then the garden showed me that it is all things at all times, always ebbing and flowing simultaneously. Buds come, flowers go. Bushes seem to take a giant breath when they're covered in blossoms and then exhale all of it when the flowers fade. They seem to, but they don't. In my garden today the same bush has tiny green buds, buds showing just a bit of petal color, blossoms at all stages of openness, crispy-petaled deadheads and bare deadheads. Sure, it looks like a status quo, but you've got to be quick to catch it. Perhaps in the garden we can call it 'the status quo in motion'.

So the next time you enter your garden expecting to see this,

open your eyes or you'll miss this.

And when you're feeling crestfallen at the sight of your fading lovelies, look harder for the beginnings of new beauty.

When the big picture is starting to look sad, search deeper for what's coming.

Your garden is showing you more than just this.

Are you seeing it?


  1. Garden loveliness is transitory and so is all the ugliness. Many life lessons are there in the garden.

  2. Beautifully stated Sherry! Sometimes (even today) I see the ugliness inherent in bloom fade, feel the seemingly unending heat, and feel forlorn in what lays before me. It is usually an occurrence of mid day in the garden, when the heat is on and I am hating my geographic location and its forsaken temperature and humidity. But oh, how wonderful it is to stroll in the morning, when dew glistens, and somehow I see past all of the spent blooms. The flowers show promise, before their mid day wilt, before the harsh light of noon fades their glories. It is then a gardener can see the fresh basal cane emerging, the promise of a roses next flush.


  3. Amber, you're so right. Today it taught me to plug my eyes in!

    Ken, our environment really is a distraction, but also I think nature hides its babies for protection. The buds in my photos seem almost camouflaged and definitely hard to see even knowing they’re there. In real life on a stroll through the garden they’re even harder to see. It can even require bending over. Chuckle, chuckle.

  4. So true, Sherry!
    The eternally enchanting, ever-changing garden is constantly challenging all our senses. I love the visual picture you painted of a bush 'taking a big breath then exhaling...' That is going to stay with me!

  5. True, true, Sandra! There is much to keep up with in the garden, but I never considered “paying attention” one of the challenges. You are absolutely right. It is.

  6. Sherry, great post. I was just thinking this today as I noticed the second flush of the season will soon begin. Later I was looking through photos, realizing that each was just the garden at one particular day, but each day is different - as you so eloquently put it, the ebb and flow.

  7. Hey Sherry...You have said it so well. The garden is always the old goes out, the new comes in..always rewarding us with its never ending beauty. Thanks for putting it into words so eloquently.

  8. A reminder we often need is to look at everything in the garden, not just the obvious and most visible - you've said and shown us this so well. Thank you.