The Colors of June

A Transformation of Hollyhocks in Sunlight © Catherine Rutgers 20142013 was the Season of Extreme Gardening. I cut down two diseased and weary bushes, sawing and yanking their roots from the dirt, making space for ferns, lemon thyme, the red-toned lilies. I pitchforked a sketchy patch of weeds in the lawn, reveling in unearthing a foot-deep mess of clay, rocks, metallic household detritus, pottery shards, an old toothpaste tube, hunks of concrete—replacing it with my favorite topsoil-organic planting mix (albeit purchased and from not-entirely-sustainable source material). And for my first time, planted grass seed.

Amazingly enough, considering how happy the squirrels were to find this freshly softened territory for acorn planting, the grass took hold and in 2014 is a nicely thick zone of green. Green, of course, is the symphony of June in the northeast. It’s everywhere, and everywhere delightful. Toward the end of the month, however, my attention turned to the grace notes, the trills, the accents that spice up the homefront landscape. With the intention of capturing the more exotic colors, I stepped out with scissors in hand and snipped a selection of blossoms. The original primroses, aka buttercups, came from a single plant that my mother gave me. Now, they are sprinkled throughout the gardens. The hollyhocks (a fabulous birthday gift) and the roses were also my plantings. Mona planted the lilies, salvia, daisies, and those whose names I do not know. She knows all the names, understands who likes what type of soil. My method extends to checking sun vs. shade, choosing something I like the looks of, prepping the ground with aforementioned mix, and hoping for the best. It’s a good combo of approaches, actually, yielding an ever-surprising assortment of floral personalities.

Scanning these delicacies is an extraordinary experience. After figuring out how to place them for the best view and without being crushed, the next hurdle is an unbypassable message: “When you scan with high resolution, the image size may be large or a long time may be required for scanning. Therefore, select an appropriate resolution setting. For details, click the Help button.” Help! Why does the interface for this magnificent machine, whose capacities extend to 4,800 pixels per inch, chide me for being inappropriate? I want them to be large, I enjoy practicing patience as the images take several minutes to load. And the results astound me.
Primrose © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Tiger Lily © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Lovely as It Fades © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Rosebud © Catherine Rutgers 2014 More Closely into the Day Lily © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Rose Cluster of Miniature Whites © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Tiny Unknown Unreal © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Black Hollyhock © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Another Rose Beyond Perfection © Catherine Rutgers 2014 The Redder Lily © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Center of the Daisy © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Changing the Rosebud © Catherine Rutgers 2014 Salvia © Catherine Rutgers 2014

Text and images by Catherine Rutgers © 2014

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5 Responses to The Colors of June

  1. Anonymous says:

    Cathy,
    Love the flower colors and details.
    Chris

  2. Karen says:

    Astounding is right. These are beautiful!

    • Good morning, Karen, and thank you! These are pretty wild … I had no idea, for example, that there is so much going on in the center of a daisy. These little things that may seem so familiar are, apparently, full of surprises! Love, Cat

  3. Hello, to all visitors and a hearty thank you to the four companion bloggers who shared their thumbs up and led me to their intriguing sites: Garden of Eady, Green Lizard’s Blog, Cynthia Reyes, and Fakeormistake.

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