Sunday, 3 June 2012

Harmony (03 JUN 2012)

I am a scientist specialising in plant propogation during my spare time.

lavender legato                                seedling staccato                                broccoli etude

OK - I just do a bit of gardening now and then ...
Lavender cuttings planted in winter continue to develop slowly.
Sacrificial seedlings of my least favourite plants have been dotted around outside to check if predators are lurking.
So much for experiments - all eight sets of broccoli seedlings are thriving and progressing to develop their true leaves, regardless of factors and levels. The yellowing and dying of their predecessors remains a mystery.

My garden is a functional plant laboratory.

asparagus solo                                               cactus duet                                                azalea a capella

The azalea is blooming for the first time.  I'd like to think it is because I amended its soil with spent tea bags but I  have to accept that there are other forces at work which are beyond my control. Asparagus and cacti have eventually made an appearance, maybe as a result of my willing them on ... or not.

However, during the month of May, as the spring bulbs expired, the tree blossoms were glorious and the roses started to bloom, I could sense a change in myself.

May medley
I view the branches covered in blue blossoms for free - thanks to my neighbour.

Kneeling in front of the wisteria, I no longer felt the urge to align my measuring tape to record and tabulate the length of the racemes, as I would have done before.

wisteria grazioso
Have you noticed that wisteria flowers look like upside-down lupins ? - they are in the same family.

While beheading the wilted perennial poppies, I didn't bother to count the number of buds per plant and plot them on a graph even though I'm sure there are many more than last year.

a chorus of poppies

Despite the individual, measurable success story of each plant, I yearned for something unquantifiable : cohesion.
If only they could all sing together.

quince encore                                                      tropaeolum crescendo                               buttercups allegro

The inner branches of the quince bush have spontaneously burst into flower, resulting in many more pollinated fruits compared to the winter blooms on the previously bare outer branches. Clematis and tropaeolum are climbing exactly as I trained them while buttercups are doing their own thing, freestyle.
A beautiful but disparate ensemble.

Can harmony only be created by artistes ?

my local park in May 

This whole grove has been dedicated to azalea bushes which flower harmoniously with the horsechestnut trees but for just a few weeks of the year.

Is it possible for harmony to be sustained ?
What lies between dissonance and harmony ?
How does a scientist comprehend harmony when it is composed of more than the sum of its parts ?



Today I'm linking up to Donna's Word4Wednesday meme : HARMONY

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Christine @ The Gardening Blog said...

Wow bag! I think you are more than just experimenting now. You have planted and created something really beautiful!

Really beautiful!

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

Very philosophical...I await the continuation and loved your musings....your blooms are certainly lovely. No harmony in my garden this year... at least not right now

Diana Studer said...

This evening we had Bernd ex Cape Town Opera Chorus, and Tom from the Cape Welsh Choir - singing a duet. Playing with the harmonies.

The colour harmonies in my garden start in my head, and Mother Nature chooses the Bleah or OOH result.

Crystal said...

Oh I think your garden is singing in perfect harmony. And with each season, comes a new song to sing.

Donna said...

What great questions for more to come. Also, gardening is taking control of your right brain I think! The the artistic and nurturing is creeping in on the analytical and logical. You really are earning your green thumb too. Thanks for joining along.

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

Very lovely and interesting angle for the wisteria. What are those blue flowers courtesy of your neighbor? I thought it was a blue spruce until you mnetioned flowers.

b-a-g said...

Thanks Carolyn - I think the tree is called : ceanothus puget blue. I have to say that my neighbour's looks better than the pictures on the web. Apparently it can be grown as a tree, shrub or climber.

b-a-g said...

Thanks Crystal, Christine and Donna GEV - At the moment, survival is what I strive for with my gardening, harmony is a bonus.

Thanks Diana - Yes, Mother Nature can harmonise the most incompatible colour combinations.

Thanks Donna GWGT - I really enjoy your W4W meme, it's making me think about my garden and blogging in a totally different way. It's a pleasure to join in.

Patty said...

Very interesting post. I am enjoying the musical theme. To add to your queries, Would we recognize harmony without dissonance? Could one be the extreme of the other?

Alberto said...

Hi b-a-g! your post made me smile! All those italian words that has also other meanings, far from opera, yet perfectly fitting the pictures! :)
Harmony is more than the sum of the parts... that's right. I don't think harmony is something you can scientifically prove, or recreate, or at least I don't want to think as something that can be explained with an equation. I am curious to read the follow up of this post... ;)

linniew said...

Oh b-a-g I have recently come to know that what appears at first to be harmony from an environment can actually be harmony coming from the inside out of, in this case, the gardener. And it may be poetry too that you are finding in there and looking through, like a lens.

Stacy said...

b-a-g, your seedling staccato and buttercup allegro both made me smile. Such beautifully chosen words! Cohesion is my own bugaboo in the garden, and I'm afraid I am snarling at artistes with billowy, blending sweeps of color these days. Looking forward to your continued thoughts.

Andrea said...

Oh wow, that blue drooping plant of your neighbor is really wonderful, i wish we have more blue flowers in our hot tropics. And your colorful hedges on your nearby park is very lovely too!

Alistair said...

Ah b-a-g, a harmonious post pleasure to read and view. Not measuring the Wisteria blooms, don't chill out too much I would miss the scientist in you.

debsgarden said...

Some things just can't be quantified. You are becoming a gardener!

Anonymous said...

Do I detect a hint of poetry in the engineer's soul?

Laura Bloomsbury said...

I sense the scientist is finding immeasurable harmony in the art of gardening ;)

HolleyGarden said...

How did I miss this post? I love it! I think you've shown the synergy that comes from a garden. It's not all measurements and experiments. It's also beauty, love, and appreciation. Sometimes plants sing together. Sometimes they sing solo. But they always sing to our hearts.

b-a-g said...

Thanks all for your comments ...

Patty - Yes, I agree - dissonance and harmony develop in cycles.
Alberto - I forgot I had an Italian reader, I learnt those words for a music theory exam when I was a teenager.
Linnie & CG - I'm not feeling so poetic now that the wind has wrecked half of the garden.
Alastair - Don't worry my measuring tape is still safely stored in the garden shed.
Andrea - That blue-flowered tree is also called californian lilac.
Deb, Stacy & Laura - You are surely artistes of garden design.
Holley - What a lovely final comment, I'll remember that one.

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