Sunday, May 8, 2011
Isn't the word 'ephemeral' just the most elegant-sounding word? Of course, it means 'short-lived', so it needs to sound classy. I love immoderately the so-called spring ephemerals, such as jonquils and tulips and hyacinths and small bulbs, but some do not like them because they don't last all the growing season. Well, what does? If you get right down to it, evergreen trees and shrubs are the only plants that stay the same. Everything else is like us humans; they have seasons. And just like our youth can be a wonderful season, so can the time in spring when ephemerals bloom, like the bulbs and the spring-blooming shrubs and trees, and when strawberries taste the best. But just like us human folk, there is a summer of life, when, in this part of the world, crape myrtles bloom and all the tough summer annuals, and fresh corn. Daylily blooms last only a day, but then there will be more. Then in the autumn come the chrysanthemums and asters and harvest time, and in our own lives the autumn can be a rewarding time of life. Ah, and then there's winter. We humans get a frosting in our hair, kind of like the frosts that cause many plants to take a rest. But winter can bring loveliness of its own, plant-wise and human-wise. There are roses in mild climates, hellebores such as the Christmas rose, there is winter honeysuckle. There are rewards in becoming mature and learning our identities. Being an extremely fickle individual, I tend to love most that which is blooming right now or the event that is happening right now. But being a gardener, I'm still looking forward to the next flower, the next season, the next ephemeral wonder.