3.03.2007

Buds Faintly Roaring

Marching Right Along








B & I celebrated the first of March by downloading the new (monthly) desktop calendar from BBC Gardening. The photo is the fabulous daphne mezereum, one of my favourite 'blooms on bare wood' shrub/tree. Other faves in this group include flowering quince (chaenomeles japonica) and witch hazel (Corylus hamamelis). There is something so marvelous, ephemeral and strong about the bare wood & flower scenario. I am not sure what it is, but the obvious parallels about hope springing eternal, and beauty out of barrenness never fail to stir me, especially after a long winter's rest.


lovely, lovely witch hazel & flowering quince

Garden Literature, Beloved Genre


Speaking of long winters and ways to cope, this past year I discovered an enduring classic of the garden literature genre, The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek, a Czech gardener. The book, first published in 1929, is written with a curious mixture of irony, self-deprecation & poetry; his passion for gardening shines through each page.

Capek On Buds
'I tell you, buds are as strange & varied as leaves & flowers. There will be no end to your discoveries. But you must choose a small piece of earth. If I ran as far as Benesov, I should see less of the spring than if I sat in my little garden. You must stand still: and then you will see open lips and furtive glances, tender fingers, and raised arms, the fragility of a baby, and the rebellious outburst of the will to live; and then you will hear the infinite march of buds faintly roaring.' -Karel Capek.

1 comment:

Camille said...

of particular joy, the flowering trees that grace the freeway islands (in the midst of all that rubber, noise and asphalt, the cherry blooms...) (ps, thanks for visiting happygoat!)

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.