A Good Home

The Freshness of June

May is the month of planting, transplanting and maintaining.

And anticipating the month of June.

June brings a lush beauty. The green of ferns and hosta.

Buds on hydrangea shrubs. Flowers on various kinds of dogwood trees and perennials.

The tree peonies, first of the peonies to bloom in my garden.

The Canadian anemone which fetches a good price in plant nurseries but is a wildflower in my garden.

This wild phlox above, seeded by the wind or birds. It has a gorgeous fragrance, but I’ve never seen it in any nurseries.

June is the month of fresh, glorious abundance.

Annual herbs – the dill and basil, planted in May, are at their best in early June – no bolting and going to seed just yet – that’s to come in July.

I walk through the garden, pausing often to examine new growth, new blooms, the newness of it all.

There’s so much to see, that sometimes, I have to take the same path from opposite directions. This time, I pay more attention to the clematis – the ones in flower, and that second clematis we planted in an obelisk and thought had died. But there it is, climbing the obelisk.

There is an element of the divine in a garden – the freshness and abundance, the glory and the mystery of it combined – that makes me stop and stare in awe, every time I stroll through. I find myself thanking my husband, who does much of the work, and God and Mother Nature, both of which, in a garden, seem inseparable.

It’s no wonder gardener Dorothy Frances Gurney said: “One is nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.” Mind you, I feel a similar awe in Nature’s vast garden, as I behold the water of a lake or natural waterfall bordered by old-growth trees.

The thought occurred to me this morning that perhaps gardeners, without knowing, are trying to capture a bit of heavenly paradise here on earth. It would not be out of order to do so: the origins of the word paradise (in several languages) referred to both a walled garden/orchard and a heavenly paradise.

Paradise is not perfect, however. Like the story of the garden of Eden, there is troubling news for hosta lovers like me: the HVX virus. It’s a destroyer of one of the most beautiful plants in many gardens, infecting not just one but many of its kind.

It’s ironic: we gardeners treasure the peace of our gardens, the beauty of them, the closeness to the divine. Our biggest worries are usually small stuff like slugs, beetles or rabbits that chew the leaves of our plants. Who needs to worry about a virus in the garden? Perhaps it’s a reminder that nothing is perfect – or if it is, perfection cannot last.

Nevertheless, I choose to enjoy the month of June – and the free moments when I can stroll, and inhale, and admire the fresh growth and beauty to be found in my garden.

Ever thought of gardening as art? Click here.

56 thoughts on “The Freshness of June”

  1. Beautiful pictures I have been reminded recently of a quote from one of the Nature channels about Summer in the Arctic–June is Spring, July is Summer, and August is Autumn.

  2. Cynthia, nice to see your blog again and the garden is paradise. I love seeing the Canadian plant life. I think your Blue Phlox is Phlox divaricata, usually called Wild Blue Phlox. I would see it in the Appalachian mountains in North Georgia. I had not heard about the Hosta virus. Be careful with your tools – cleaning them if working in the Hostas…

    1. Lovely to hear from you, Amy! I have missed you and your posts. Yes, I heard that the tools have to be bleached, and I think one of my hosta – maybe more – have the virus so we have to get cracking to remove it.

  3. So beautiful, all of it, this post. “Newness” “Abundance” “Glory” — someday, permanent, but indeed, not here. Here we continue to have mystery, into which June (or an ocean, mountain, lake, waterfall..) is a kind window indeed. 🙂

  4. I have also noticed you have not blogged for a while and I’m glad to see you back. Your garden is looking fabulous. I totally agree that something spiritual happens in the garden and nature.

    1. I have been so busy that I hardly have time to think these days. I’ve tried to visit blogger friends, but it’s difficult as I try to catch up by reading a few posts and never get to everyone I’d like to. I hope you’re doing well.

      1. It is always good to be busy, especially during these times. I am glad you are well. We are finally going to be reunited with our kids. Everyone is vaccinated and ready to travel.

  5. Such a lovely garden, Cynthia. It’s a wonderful time of the year! I hadn’t heard about that hosta virus…the slugs and deer in Michigan were problematic enough, as I remember.

  6. Your garden is glorious and inspirational. As are your descriptions of the beauty there. Can’t wait to see the end of this pandemic so we can experience your garden in person again. Enjoy your paradise!

  7. This is a beautiful post Cynthia, filled with the mysteries, marvels, and magic moments of gardening. I’m getting to play in the dirt in mom’s gardens. Still pretty lush but the summer heat has already arrived. 🥀🌿🌺

  8. Cynthia, your garden is a paradise, indeed. I can’t even imagine the peace it must bring you to just be able to stroll in such beauty. Count yourself very fortunate (I know you do), and also that you have such a talented and willing gardener. 😊

  9. Good to hear from you! Your gardens are so beautiful, and restful to gaze upon, Cynthia and Hamlin. You have created a bit of paradise there!

    I had not heard of HVX virus, and had to look it up. I had them back east, but I don’t try to grow hosta here due to summer drought and giant slugs that can be 5 inches long. I hope your hosta stay virus free.

    1. They are the lazy northern gardener’s favourite plant – takes up a lot of space, looks glorious, and apart from slugs and hail – needs little care. Until now!

      1. I can’t grow them here, I have a city garden so it’s warm all winter and the molluscs don’t die off the way I’d like! A lot of things get eaten alive in my garden.

  10. Absolutely stunning!! Your garden is definitely awe inspiring. I always feel grateful to God, and thankful, when I’m admiring beautiful gardens, trees and wildlife. It does make me think of paradise on earth. That doesn’t surprise me since it’s what God intended for us in the first place and what he is determined to fulfill in the future according to his word.
    Thank you for sharing these incredible photos with us, Cynthia. 🥰

  11. Gardeners are God’s helpers to keep his earth beautiful piece by piece. As for the HVX virus, even the Garden of Eden had its own. How can anything earthly be perfect? Only God is but we can strive to be excellent gardeners. You are… my friend.

  12. Your garden is just beautiful! Your descriptions of the lushness of June give voice to a perception I’ve had hovering at the edge of my consciousness for the past cojuple of days but not expresed. I hope your hostas don’t suffer too badly for the virus. It’s deer that are the enemy of mine.

  13. Thank you for sharing your beautiful and peaceful garden as well as your thoughts with us, Cynthia. Looking at all the plants I ask myself how we‘d describe their scent and how they feel when we touch them. A couple I know have made a rain garden – isn‘t that a lovely idea? Just to choose plants that look and feel good when it rains…I can actually see a lot of suitable plants in your garden. 😊 Happy summer days and plenty of inspiration!

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