Oddly, this is the time of year when it always snows in my garden. It starts with the Viburnum. The spent flowers rain down until the ground is covered with these perfect little five- or six lobed sepals. They are on the ground, in my hair, in my shoes, in my drink – everywhere!
A close second is the Japanese Snowbell, whose heady and powerful fragrance currently layers itself over the garden. Other than that the flowers are pretty, that fragrance is its only redeeming characteristic. To be honest, it is a plant I struggle to love. Like the Viburnum, it came with the house, and I often lament that I should have taken it out when it was small enough that I still could. But I didn’t, so every spring, the ground around it is littered with Snowbell seedlings. By now “the ground around it” means over half my garden, as it is rather small, and the tree has gotten rather big.
As it fell, this unfortunate Snowbell flower speared itself on an intruding Juncus. The Juncus had infiltrated a pot of Scirpus zebrinus which happened to be patiently waiting below. It’s waiting for me to try to wrestle the rush out of that stripy goodness before it takes over completely, but all that aside – this little Vignette of Misfortune made me muse how wonderfully well gardening weaves the processes of life and death. There is a time for everything, and once its over, something else begins. And so it goes, on and on into a never ending tapestry of events, that eventually – in some form or other – repeat. And, just as odd as I find my summer snow, I find this cyclical motion of time equally oddly comforting. Nothing lasts forever, which right now feels like a good thing. Maybe the demise of the flowers is a premonition of bigger things to fall? Eventually they will. It’s the cycle of life.