June In Our Garden–Beth Trissel


June Excerpts from my nonfiction book,  Shenandoah Watercolors, a 2012 EPIC eBook Awards Finalist.  Images of the garden by daughter Elise.  This photograph is of our double-flowered apricot hollyhocks. This year I shall try to remember to save seed.
“It’s the longest day of the year, one to bottle and take out when November is come and the day ends at 5:00. I will tip the bottle over and pour liquid sunlight all over the gray autumnal shadows as they seep over the hills and into the meadow…the scents too, new mown hay, lavender, attar of roses, and the gleeful chatter of birds.”


“To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie –
True Poems flee.”
~Emily Dickinson
“This morning glows like a green-gold sun drop and every blade of grass glistens in the light. The newly washed spires of larkspur stand tall to greet the day. Fellows on every side, yellow lilies, bright-eyed pansies, lavender candytuft, crimson yarrow, and white asters all sit up straighter as if answering an unspoken summons and shine. Is it magic or June in the Valley? Is there a difference? ”
“Several plants reign supreme because of Elise. ‘Magic flowers,’ yellow evening primrose, have taken over a generous quadrant at the edge of the vegetable garden. She rushes me out at twilight to view the wonder as they pop open, charged with fragrance. Hummingbird moths swoop in like little fairies to feed on the blossoms.

She doesn’t like the bats that also come. I love the nighthawks. Dill is also taking over because black swallowtail butterflies lay their eggs on its leaves and hatch into little caterpillars which she watches closely, puts some into jars and feeds until they make a chrysalis, then one day they emerge with wet crumpled wings and she releases them to the sky.

I feel a bit like those uncertain butterflies, taking those first tentative flights. “~ 

“The best place to seek God is in a garden.  You can dig for him there.” ~George Bernard Shaw

“Brilliant yellow gold finches streaked across the garden today and landed on the fence beside the hollyhocks. I love these birds, one of my absolute favorites. In midsummer, when the sunflowers bloom, they gather in chattering clusters to feed on the seeds. Their wings flash in the sun as they suspend on flower heads and peck away, and meticulously open each seed. I’ve never heard such euphoric birds, continually exclaiming over their finds. They have a lot to say and do not keep secrets well.

If I were to confide in birds, it would not be them, or to crows, loudly proclaiming the latest gossip. Warblers are fairy creatures, but not silent fairies. Possibly to wolves––no. They howl. Frogs croak and gribbit. Turtles are quiet. Tell all to turtles, then. Box or painted ones. Snappers are treacherous and would as soon bite you as listen.”

“The larkspur is in full bloom, a sea of blue and pink spires rise above a mass of poppies. Delphinium is a more glorious shade of blue but I lost so many blooms to gusting winds and winter cold that I finally became discouraged with cultivating those beauties. And so I content myself with larkspur, simpler but a survivor as are so many of the old heirloom flowers. Someday I will be an heirloom. Maybe I already am. But there are not many people in this world like me as there are seedlings of larkspur. ”

*Note, I recently took the plunge and planted more delphinium seedlings, so we shall see.  One must try and nurture that which we love.

“I’ve enough spare flowers to fill a meadow and make butterflies and bees giddy with delight, but who would tend them? Only the most ‘satisfactory’ plants could compete with the grass and weeds that would choke them out. How do wild flowers survive? Queen Ann’s lace, tiny red poppies, and blue chicory run free along our unruly roadsides. Orange day lilies too, but they are tough with gnarly roots.”

“A sea of herbs and flowers continually change with the season. Some perennials are lost each winter and new ones are planted by Elise and me, others by the birds. I’ve a wild aster that blooms in late spring, covered with small white flowers. It’s very pretty really, although hard to contain. I like white flowers. They glow at dusk while all else fades. ”

“Earth laughs in flowers.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I’m particularly drawn to the heirloom varieties and the English cottage garden look. Even with these fairly trouble free plants it still takes considerable effort to fight the weeds and curtail the extremely aggressive flowers.

Years ago, I met a gardener who referred to the varieties that take over the garden on their march to the sea as ‘highly successful.’  So are weeds. The beds I tend could never be called orderly and can best be described as a happy confusion of plants. And we’ve nothing to sit on outside, so one simply strolls about and then comes back indoors. And one works one’s tail off.

My job? To tend this bit of earth, but mostly to savor and learn.”~

If it could always be June…

“What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.” ~Gertrude Jekyll

***Shenandoah Watercolors is available in print and kindle at Amazon.

7 responses to “June In Our Garden–Beth Trissel

  1. Beth, I so envy you your wonderful garden. Back when I could walk on uneven ground and our well had water, I had four dozen roses and lots of flowers. We also had a vegetable garden. Flowers make me happy. I enjoy my patio flowers, which are mostly clustered outside our breakfast room window. I also have a few of the Earthkind disease- and drought-resistant roses that I enjoy, plus one wild pink rose transplanted from my daughter’s acreage in East Texas. I always feel better after tending my flowers, don’t you?

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  2. These are wonderful, Beth. My grandmother have hollyhocks by the dozens blooming right up against her garden fence. I always think of her when I see them. Thanks for sharing. Lovely pictures.

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  3. I’ve never seen Hollyhocks before. Those are so pretty. I love flowers. I started with one small flower garden and now I have 3 small ones. Last year I got to add a bunch more as a couple nice ladies gave some for free. And with the early spring my flowers are really blooming this year.

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  4. Pingback: Delphinium ajacisFind Me A Cure | Find Me A Cure

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