Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Primary Colors

My garden is looking shabby, especially the vegetable garden; wilted tomato vines, shiso gone to seed, brown stalks where there used to be summer savory, a very unkempt plot of land, I am behind in my Fall clean-up - all those straggly, sticky, stalks, the untidiness is unbearable, there's no order out there anymore, it's a garden gone wild, a feral child with long thick, matted hair! Well, OK, I just need to get out there in my wellies and get 'stuck in' instead of just staring at the sloppy display.

Pockets of colorful life do exist in other corners of my garden; the Nicotiana (I stole the seeds from The Getty Museum) is still flowering a lovely chartreuse and my Emilia Javanica (NYBG) is still offering up a tiny orange firework display. I am not in the habit of sneeking seeds out of gardens, but I had been looking for Nicotiana Langsdorfii for the longest time and the Tassle Flower for longer......the first time I set eyes on the diminutive tassle was at Longwood Gardens, we lived for a few years in a 1920's house built for the orchid gardener at Longwood, right off Route 1, just before Kennet Square, a beautiful development of about 10 houses, just a few yards from the gardens. This is where I had my first American garden, my gardening experience at that point had been in temperate England, and now I had extreme temperatures, I learned a lot about gardening in my new and barren garden (the orchid gardener clearly didn't bring his work home) by visiting Longwood on a regular basis. I saw fireflies for the first time while living in Pennsylvania, a memorable balmy night sitting on our porch, the sound of ice chinking in our gin and tonics as we gazed across the fields and watched the magic show.

There's a duo in my garden right now making an outstandingly eye catching performance; Cerastotigma Plumbaginoides (leadwort) and Imperata (japanese blood grass), red and blue, one of my favoroite color combinations (header for blog) my NZ friend also loves it, she says that for her the two colors represent the Pohutukawa and the Pacific Ocean, for me it's the memory of a blue dress and shiny patent red shoes (yum) and the fish and chip shop sign, or was it those patriotic roundabout flower beds?

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