Wednesday, July 20, 2005

These precious few

I’m trying to live in the now, at least as far as this garden goes. The pressure of Garden Walk and a big party coming up make it very difficult to just sit outside, drink a glass of wine, listen to the fountain, and watch the butterflies. Also, this is the part of the summer that flies by—any minute now, I’ll look up: oh shit, it’s Labor Day already. Of course, always looking ahead is an occupational hazard for me.

So, focus. The verbena are a big help in my quest to make time stand still. They’ve barely changed since we left for vacation. They’re taller, maybe five feet by now, but they still look basically the same: thin, square-stemmed branched stalks with small, fuzzy purple heads. You cannot photograph them, or at least I can’t. They’re “see-through" plants, so you end up taking a picture of what’s behind them. They’re also incredible bee and butterfly magnets, and I’m not talking about those boring white ones either. I have noticed at three other types so far. Not bad for the heart of the city. Anyway, the verbena are my most reliable plants just now—I rest my eyes on them and feel sure they’ll be standing there with their little purple heads for weeks to come.

Of course I had to order them, and I’m not at all sure they’ll be winter-hardy. They’re favorites (I should say “favourites”) of Christopher Lloyd’s, mentioned and pictured often in his fabulous book, Garden Flowers.

Here they are, from bluestone perennials, as I hesitate to post images from a copyrighted book and I figure an online merchant won’t mind. This does not show the height.

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