I’m not a careful gardener. Most of what blooms came to me as cast-offs, divided and offered by friends, or discovered while visiting spring garden sales. I tuck plants in where I think they’ll look good, then dig them up and plug them elsewhere when it turns out I’m wrong. One plant made its way home with me just because of its name. My husband and I went to the same college. Our team name was the “Purple Knights,” so when I encountered a purple-leaved Alternanthera - aka, "Purple Knight," I acquired it. Wish I'd done a little research there. Those darn things are so invasive we have to pry them out from between our patio cracks. Foxgloves seed themselves wherever they choose, and since they grow as tall as me, I spend time each spring moving them to the back of the garden.
Work and positioning aside, I love my little rockery and on the mornings I get to drink coffee out there, I focus on the experience, cognizant that it’s one I wait for all the rest of the year. I’ve stared down chipmunks up there and sat frozen while a hummingbird levitated less than six inches away. Sitting on rock, I close my eyes and listen to squirrels chittering overhead, a mama robin cheerio-ing from the bushes behind me, and always, the drone of bees. Blossoms sway as yellow jackets and bumble bees trundle their way into bell-flowers and sun drops, but, on Sunday, tiny bees I didn’t recognize flitted over the Jacob’s Ladder gone to seed. Sipping my coffee, I remembered a piece I read in the local paper about a man in town who has begun raising honey bees. According to the article, they travel more than a mile from their hives in search of pollen.
I drained my cup, satisfied at the thought of a swarm of bees climbing through my bee-balm, my balloon flowers, the bounty of my garden mixing with others as they make their way home.
Sometime in the near future, a bee-farmer will harvest honey with one-of-a-kind taste, a tiny nuance of which, might have come from me.
|Skip the table and chairs, I sit right in the garden, on a "seat" just in front of the stone wall.|