Agapanthus and corn flowers are as blue as it gets in my garden this year.
Not every man has gentians in his house
in Soft September, at slow, Sad Michaelmas.
Bavarian gentians, big and dark, only dark
darkening the daytime torchlike with the smoking blueness of Pluto's gloom,
ribbed and torchlike, with their blaze of darkness spread blue
down flattening into points, flattened under the sweep of white day
torch-flower of the blue-smoking darkness, Pluto's dark-blue daze,
black lamps from the halls of Dis, burning dark blue,
giving off darkness, blue darkness, as Demeter's pale lamps give off light,
lead me then, lead me the way.
Reach me a gentian, give me a torch
let me guide myself with the blue, forked torch of this flower
down the darker and darker stairs, where blue is darkened on blueness.
even where Persephone goes, just now, from the frosted September
to the sightless realm where darkness was awake upon the dark
and Persephone herself is but a voice
or a darkness invisible enfolded in the deeper dark
of the arms Plutonic, and pierced with the passion of dense gloom,
among the splendor of torches of darkness, shedding darkness on the
lost bride and groom.
A lady at work advised me to take time out to grieve properly for the loss of my Mum or it would catch up on me eventually. Gardening has helped a lot in this respect as it was a passion that she passed on. I had the idea of dedicating a patch in my garden as a memorial, to focus my thoughts, and with that in mind went plant-shopping.
Larger plants would make a bold statement but they didn't seem appropriate.
Unassuming plants captured her spirit better, especially the salmon-pink geraniums.
Instead, I made a routine visit to the sick-plant shelf to distract myself but was delighted to find a tired-looking, pot-bound specimen of the same, just waiting for me to rescue it.
My Mum would have been proud as she had a keen eye for a bargain.
Splitting it into four revealed several tiny, blanched shoots. The most promising quarter was planted at the forefront of the "woodland" between a fading hydrangea and spent rhubarb, where it has the choice to reach foward to bask in the sunshine or spread behind into the shade. I hope it does the latter so that its relative brightness can light up the woodland floor just like in the poem.
On that point, I have to admit that after imagining gentians in my head (their form and colour) for a long time, I was disappointed when I finally googled images last year to find that even though they were definitely blue, they were not as dark as D.H. Lawrence suggests. Some photos show darker flowers than mine though. Having said that, my newly acquired gentian is, thankfully, a hybrid, so Bavarian Gentians can remain a fantasy somewhere between royal and (closer to) navy blue for a while longer.
And the memorial ?
In fact my whole garden will be a memorial as scattered around are cuttings and seedlings which she presented or which I took without asking in most cases.
|three apple trees|