It must be the solstice…

The sun kissed the sodden petunia this morning for the first time in a week.

Today is the first day of summer. This morning is bright for the first time in a week. The sun has decided to grace our lives in her own honour of this, her Day of Days. She smiles on the leaves of the old cottonwood and they acknowledge her smile with a silvery shine where she touches them.

In the garden, flowers that have been hiding from the rain are putting out hopeful buds and the petunias are quickly off with the old blossoms to make way for the new. I love the petunias of today that can so readily shed their tired flowers without my intervention. Is there anything cheerier or more determined than the petunia?

Valerian shows up in surprising places, dressed in lace and lavishly scented .

The weeds have not been as reluctant to take advantage of the cool, wet weather. They have sprung up all over the garden, aggressive and quite large. I think they know that most of us are unwilling to go out and fight them when the sky is weeping.

The valerian is in bloom, waving in the wind from unexpected places. She is such a traveler and if you are not diligent in pulling seedlings in spring time, valerian will bound up suddenly, wafting her seductive scent at your unresisting nostrils. Then you must let her have her season before you can take the ultimate measure to deal with her. She is very pretty in her new summer dress, tall and slender with those lovely umbels of scented white flowers.

Blue, blue flax, an unruly little plant, but welcome in my garden.

Why do I love the wild and unruly plants so much? The flax is also alive with the bluest of blue. While it wanders with some respect for the gardener, it does wander, and so does the little white Anenome canadensis, whose flowers are enticing enough without putting out those irresistible seed heads that I can’t bear to cut. Eventually this anemone will wantonly expose bursts of eiderdown fluff to the willing wind.

I wrote a story for my local gardener magazines about plants that wander because I know whereof I speak. I have grown and still do grow every one of them and more.

Lovely Anenome canadensis has wanton ways with her seeds.

It is not just unmanageable plants that I am attracted to. The same is true of people. I am always intrigued by the rebels, the unconventional, the nonconformists. I loved the poems and songs as I grew up about the wayward wind being a restless wind, “a restless wind that yearns to wander”… and I understood how I “must go down to the sea again, the lonely sea and the sky, and all I want is a tall ship and a star to steer her by”. Do you remember the song, Faraway Places? I never did learn to play the piano, but I would pick out the notes to that song dreaming of going to China or maybe Siam, but knowing I was “burning to see, those faraway places with the strange sounding names that are calling, calling me”…

Now I have been to most of those places, but they still call as do the brilliant restless plants, the wandering souls, the minds that look beyond the obvious.

Oh dear –… it must be the solstice…

9 thoughts on “It must be the solstice…

  1. Love the feel of this whole piece. And yes, must be the solstice as we were energized last night as well. Midsummer night dreaming.

  2. DiVoran says:

    How utterly beautiful this post was. I read this morning that today was Summer Solstice, and I said to myself, I wonder what that really means. I got busy and forgot to look it up, but no article could ever have explained it quite so beautifully or with so much heart and meaning. Thank you.

  3. pommepal says:

    I do look forward to your posts. They capture the spirit of the seasons and the photos are beautiful I also love wandering plants the way they fill in all the blank spaces in the garden with no help needed. What survivors…

  4. Wild and unruly plants sound good to me.

  5. Simon Smith says:

    Beautiful post and beautiful photos. We’ve had the same problems with weeds over the last week or so – they’re just springing up from nowhere!

  6. Granny says:

    Lovely. To what flower or plant might you compare yourself, if I may ask?

  7. Kristin says:

    What a nice blog you have! I am a Swede gardening over in Kelowna, BC and being amazed by all the things you can grow here :).

  8. […] It must be the solstice… […]

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