Six on Saturday 23-02-19

You cannot put a Fire out—
A Thing that can ignite
Can go, itself, without a Fan—
Upon the slowest Night—

Emily Dickinson*

The unseasonably mild weather has continued into this week. All around the garden, among the ashes of winter, we come across small embers from last year. We thought the fire had gone out but then our eye notices the faintest wisp of smoke, a flicker of light and if we are to watch patiently, we might just witness something tiny catching fire. And soon, as we move from February to March the light and warmth will slowly spread out to each and every corner.

It is Six on Saturday again the brilliant meme hosted by the inspirational propagator blog. This week, six signs of kindling catching alight in the garden…

1. The tinderbox

I showed this picture to my daughter and asked her what she thought it was. She thought it might have been a hibernating animal or “maybe a baby trolls bottom?”  It is of course the otherworldly appearance of an emerging pulsatilla, the pasque flower. Last year it flowered beautifully for a whole day and then a pheasant appeared and ate it right down to the stalk. Apparently they are something of a delicacy for pheasants. I am hoping it might last just a little longer this year.

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2. The lightning rod

This hamamelis Jelena has a coppery orange glow to it in the early morning sun. There are little sparks of winter aconite flickering at its feet as the snowdrops slowly melt away.

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3. The hearth

This stone planter is filled with crocus orange monarch. A lovely orangey-yellow flower with flecks of black that resemble glowing coals. Despite my fondness for crocuses, there is something slightly futile for me about growing them. They open up after I leave for work and close before I get home but they are a little gift for our early pollinators in between.

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4. The freshly struck match

My favourite primula is this little gold lace form. Delicate yellow flowers, dark red edges and a golden lining. I picked up a single plant years ago and now have dozens in little pots. At this time of year I bring them up to the window like little candles in the dark.

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5. The engine room

It was time to clean out the greenhouse this week before the seed sowing starts in earnest. As time goes by I have become less fastidious abut this and now think of it as more of a ceremonial event. To sweep out the dust, wash down the windows and clean out the seed trays. As I was bent under the staging I was taken by the light shining through the vents in the glass. The greenhouse is the great capacitor, the generator and the transducer of the garden. It takes in the energy from a burning star millions of miles away and transforms this into new life with just the merest assistance from a gardeners hand.

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6. The glow…

It is unstoppable now. The fire has caught and it is no longer ours to control. Its cold still, but if we turn our faces towards it, we can feel the warmth as the flame leaps from branch to branch, from bud to bud, from leaf to leaf….

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* The second verse of Dickinsons little verse from 1924 is equally astute…

You cannot fold a Flood—
And put it in a Drawer—
Because the Winds would find it out—
And tell your Cedar Floor—

14 Comments Add yours

  1. n20gardener says:

    A beautiful post, lovely words and a beautiful garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One Man And His Garden Trowel says:

    I have a horrible feeling I’ve accidently dug up the pasque flower in the front garden when I was doing some tidying. I’ve certainly not noticed the distinctive leaves yet. Drat! Some tantalising glimpses of your garden there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keith says:

      Oh dear! They do self seed a little so perhaps all hope is not lost?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One Man And His Garden Trowel says:

        Fingers are crossed!

        Like

  3. cavershamjj says:

    A very poetic six! I spotted the same issue with crocus myself. Hopefully I will get to enjoy them this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keith says:

      I think that’s why I like crocuses so much. They are so fleeting and so triumphant at a time of year that can be pretty harsh and unforgiving. Even if I don’t get to see them flower that often I feel they deserve their chance!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sophie says:

    A great six and some I’ve not seen before. A lovely bonus. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keith says:

      Thanks sophie

      Like

  5. Jim Stephens says:

    What an exquisite thing the Passiflora bud is, presumably it evolved as a defence against something, then some idiot introduced pheasants. I lost most of my Gold lace prims in last summers drought, still have one but it’s behind yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keith says:

      That’s a good point Jim. I was trying to work out how this evolved and thinking of other flowers that have bristles as they emerge like meconopsis. I don’t know if it is as a defence against predators or for insulation?

      Like

  6. enjoyed the poetry. Nice troughs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, you have done it again this week! Your post is my favorite! I think you actually live in a garden fairy tale! Your daughter takes after you, she sees things others miss, and I think takes them to heart. How beautiful is the baby trolls bottom! Oh, to always see things as a child!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keith says:

      Thank you! How very true – it is a gift to sometimes be able so see the world through a child’s eyes.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Heyjude says:

    What a lovely poetic post Keith. One of the best sixers yet 🙂 Love the stone troughs your crocuses live in. How we gardeners welcome the return of the glow!

    Liked by 1 person

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