At this time of year, the perennial garden in front of my log house overflows with old fashioned flowers, like Shasta daisies and echinacea and daylilies. Of all, my favorites are the black-eyed Susans, which multiply and travel throughout the garden each year. Do you know how black-eyed Susans got their name? The romantic legend springs from an old English poem by John Gay, a post-Elizabethan poet. According to the poem, Black-eyed Susan boarded a sailing ship to search for William, her beloved:
All in the downs, the fleet was moored, Banners waving in the wind. When Black-Eyed Susan came aboard, and eyed the burly men. “Tell me ye sailors, tell me true Does my Sweet William sail with you?”
Were her eyes dark, or black from crying? We'll never know. And yet, the flowers make me happy, so I think she must have been a dark-eyed lass in love, and her William came back to her, safe and sound.
False indigo and spiderwort are just two of the plants in full purple flower in my garden right now. I also have chives, sage, lupines, and Siberian iris. When the purples fade, the garden has a brief period of whites (Shasta daisies, more irises and daylilies), before it moves into the yellow phase. I think I like the purples best. What colors are blooming in your garden this week?
My husband Ted has a way with stones. Wherever he goes in the world, from Mt. Kilimanjaro to Costa Rica to our own front yard, he manages to create a balanced stone sculpture, using no filler or mortar of any kind. We call this one The Duck, and it's stood near the head of our driveway at the Log House through rain, snow, and two hurricanes.
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