Green Energy

I have had a busy couple of weeks. I have been adjusting to working full-time, leaving the house at 7am and getting home at 5.30pm.

Lilac (Syringa) in the evening light, with the lime tree behind

By the time I get home, I am ready to re-connect with the garden.

Peony foliage, with rose foliage behind

I need to re-charge with green energy.

Chives, about to burst into flower. Tulips in the raised beds behind.

Plants are bursting upwards and outwards with the excitement of life.

Geranium ‘Anne Thomson’, with Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ to the left and Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ behind.

There is an unstoppable momentum. They cannot be contained.

Geranium, salvia and rose foliage

New leaves have a wonderful translucence. They are conduits of light.

Lupin foliage

The evening sunlight emphasises their unique textures and shapes.

Rosa rugosa ‘Hansa’, with the lime tree behind.

I think my favourite foliage is the intersectional peony. It combines fullness and curvaceousness with precision and grace.

Peony ‘Watermelon Wine’

Here are the poppy buds, about to burst their britches. I love the insouciance of poppies. They don’t bother to shave their legs.

Poppy and lupin buds

Whilst I was admiring the poppies, I noticed that the lupin bud behind is a triplet. It is one of nature’s happy little accidents.

Lupin ‘Thunderclouds’ bud, split into three.

This tulip, ‘Avignon Parrot’, has been incredible this year. It has enormous flowers, as big as two hands spread. Last year they were so heavy that they snapped off in high winds. This year, the rose ‘Young Lycidas’ has grown enough to provide shelter. ‘Avignon Parrot’ has been in flower for a good three weeks.

Tulip ‘Avignon Parrot’ with Rosa ‘Young Lycidas’ behind.

They really do have marvellous swirls.

Tulip ‘Avignon Parrot’

The bright coral colour shines out across the rose garden. Even when the tulips are playing ‘hide-and-seek’.

Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ with Tulip ‘Avignon Parrot’ peeping out behind.

It picks up the reddish tinge of the rose foliage.

Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ with Tulip ‘Avignon Parrot’ peeping out again.

Every day there is a new surprise. Yesterday it was Centaurea ‘Purple Heart’.

Centaurea ‘Purple Heart’

Today my little treat was Aquilegia ‘Hensol’s Harebell’.

Aquilegia ‘Hensol’s Harebell’

Common names for aquilegia are ‘columbine’ or ‘granny’s bonnet’. But my favourite is ‘dove-flower’. Each flower looks like five doves with their heads together and their wings behind.

Aquilegia ‘Hensol’s Harebell’

After five minutes in the garden I have re-charged and re-energised. There is so much to be grateful for. So many little miracles unfolding before me. Energy bursting upwards and outwards, exploding out of buds. Light shining out of stems and leaves. An infinite variety of shapes and textures.

Green energy.

The Mindful Gardener appreciates the simple things in life. Light, raindrops, dewdrops, sunbeams. The grace of an arching stem. The wrinkle on a rose petal.

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76 Comments Add yours

  1. Ms. Liz says:

    Centaurea ‘Purple Heart’ is a different look.. it’s very nice!

    1. It is a lovely one, Liz. I am building up a little collection of them. I have a maroon one, ‘Jordy’ (this is on my icon), this white and purple ‘Purple Heart’, and I have just planted a light lilac one, ‘Blewitt’. They are just so delicate and precious, aren’t they?

      1. Ms. Liz says:

        How lovely Ali, they are really special!

  2. Lora says:

    Absolutely agree. Half an hour in my garden after a hectic day works wonders. I love the term green energy and love your posts. Thank you.

    1. Katie says:

      My husband is used to me telling him that “I have to go visit my plants for a few minutes.” It does wonders for my mood!

      1. It is just such a good way of taking a moment, regrouping, grounding, whatever you want to call it! Incidentally, I have been asked to write a guest post on another blog about ‘gardening as self-care’ – I will add a link on this site when it is published.

    2. Thank you, Lora, that is so nice to hear. It would be so interesting to measure cortisol levels and see if there is a physiological difference. I can feel myself relaxing almost the moment I pull on my wellies.

  3. Kath says:

    Oh Ali that Watermelon Wine Peonie is going to be stunning.So enjoyed your blog thankyou.

  4. Rupali says:

    Managing a full time job, a garden, a blog and most of all a family. Hats of to you Alison.
    Visiting your garden is treat to eyes.

    1. Thank you Rupali. My children are becoming older and more independent, so it is only minor juggling these days – organising lifts and being available for chats being the major requirements.

      1. Rupali says:

        I am happy for you Alison.

  5. Ah, you’ve popped up in my feed again and, like my own new garden, my heart is sighing because of it. Recharging on green energy is just what I needed this morning and as usual I’ve learnt something new – dove flower is a delightful name for Aquilegia, I’ll use it always now. Caroline will be thrilled to find the little doves when ours come out (we’re so far behind your garden up here in the north east!). And I LOVE your hairy legged poppies! Girls after my own heart… Great to have you back in my feed! x

    1. It is lovely to have you here! I love common names of flowers – I try to collect them!

  6. fredgardener says:

    Love the lupin picture, Ali !

    1. Lupins seem quite prone to these little eccentricities. I have just found two more oddities on the same plant – one doing a loop-the-loop, and two more canoodling. I used to have a plant which produced pink flowers on one side and blue on the other.

      1. fredgardener says:

        😂 you really have oddities !… with the one that splits into 3 ( the one you took the picture ….) and the last one you talked about…. how do you feed them?! 😁

      2. They look after themselves!

  7. Emma Cownie says:

    I love the colour of new leaves, it gets a bit “samey” in summer when they have been out for a few months.

    1. Yes, I think it is this super bright green for three, maybe four weeks, and then they dull slightly. It is good timing – this is a period where there is a lull in colour between the tulips and the peonies, so the greens get their time to shine.

      1. Emma Cownie says:

        True, I drove down a Gower lane the other day and marvelled at all the bright greens of the trees and hedges. Give it a few weeks and it it all just be “green”!

  8. Chloris says:

    The May light is wonderful and all the shades of green. You have a very special place to recharge your batteries.

    1. It really is a celebration of green, isn’t it?

  9. Ann Mackay says:

    Your garden is wonderfully lush now! (Mine is a little way behind yours.) ‘Excitement of life’ is a great description of this stage in the year. 🙂 And oh, I love that centaurea – it would look great here and I have the blue/purple one so it should be happy here. (There’s an annual plant market in town on Monday – wonder if they might have it….)

    1. There are a few really good centaureas. I try to plant them with things that will grow over them later in the summer, as they are very prone to mildew when it gets dry. Hemerocallis and hardy geraniums are good disguisers!

      1. Ann Mackay says:

        That’s a good tip – I have plenty of geraniums to provide cover for the leaves. It’s very dry here in summer, so I do have problems with mildew on a few plants. Will have to use the disguise idea for them too… 🙂

  10. Such a wonderful time to be in the garden.
    Is the blue paint on a wall? Very Yves san Laurent. Tell me more.

    1. I have three Moroccan blue glazed pots with roses in! Yes, it was inspired by the Jardin Majorelle in Morocco, which I visited 25 years ago as a student! Funny how things get lodged in our personal aesthetic and need an outlet!

  11. Lovely Ali! I so loved the poppies with their unshaved legs. You gave me a good chuckle.
    I’m so glad you have your love, thrill, and fill in your gardens. It is hard and very tiring to work full time, and my gardens are the place where I get recharged, as I see it is with you. Happy restful recharging weekend to you!

    1. Thank you Cindy! I think we need strategies to make sure we feel we are nurturing ourselves, and this is all the more important when we are working hard. The garden is definitely my way of nurturing myself.

  12. bcparkison says:

    What a lovely peaceful garden to come home to.

    1. It is very much my place of peace.

  13. sgeoil says:

    So lovely. Our May is still mostly brown. The columbine’s are just poking out of the ground. It is such a delight to see your colourful photos as a reminder of what is to come!

    1. It is always nice to get a sneak preview, isn’t it? I always think that the year is just the right length of time for you to have forgotten what happened last year and so for the same plants popping up to be a wonderful novelty.

      1. sgeoil says:

        That is so true!

  14. suemalik48@aol.com says:

    Wonderful Ali, I can’t think of nywhere better to recharge after a long day, lovely photographs and love the way you describe it all…

    1. Thank you Sue. I am glad you like my writing style: it is always nice when someone comments on this.

  15. Ooohh, I love the idea of recharging with green energy and of the poppies not shaving their legs. Perfect! 🙂

    1. Yes. And if it’s good enough for the poppies then it’s good enough for me! Flowers lead the way to liberation!

      1. I love that, and it seems right on to me!

  16. Heyjude says:

    Working full time, parenting and having a huge garden to look after is going to be hard work! I am surprised (but pleased) that you can still find time to blog. Like you, today I have focused on the green in the garden – so many different shades and textures to love. And the Granny’s Bonnets and Centaurea and Lupin are perfect contrasts. I am enjoying seeing your garden wake up and I can imagine the joy you get on visiting it each evening 😀

    1. It has been a bit of a squish this week because we were away last weekend! I was planning to write a post about the garden we visited, but this was just too much. I have to make choices, and one post a week is enough!

      1. Heyjude says:

        Which garden?

      2. Cliveden. We meant to visit a couple more but the weather was terrible!

      3. Heyjude says:

        Never did get to that one.

      4. Ssh, but I don’t think you missed much! Very formal beds, and a Japanese water garden. I really don’t like formal beds.

      5. Heyjude says:

        I’m not so keen either but I do like a Japanese garden. You have reminded me to pay our closest one a visit.

  17. I would call your garden right now as “Green Therapy”! It’s a good thing you can enjoy early daylight evenings out there. We have that advantage, too, in the Pacific Northwest, now that we’ve transitioned to Daylight Savings Time.

    1. Yes, it is lovely to come home to evening light. I really appreciate the long days in our part of the world.

  18. You are right about ‘green energy’ the garden is a great place to unwind and destress.

    1. Yes. It feels very natural (ha ha) too; it is just inevitable that if I go outside I will feel calm and relaxed.

  19. Cathy says:

    Yes, this time of year is especially good for recharging with all that green energy – perfect timing for you as you settle into your new job. The perfectly pristine clumps of all that lush new foluage is an added bonus, isn’t it?

    1. It is. I love watching the hummocks grow and then blend into one another so that there is no earth visible.

      1. Cathy says:

        Likewise, Ali, and the clumps are so tactile – I like to run my hands over them

      2. I just did that with an intersectional peony – they are so soft!

      3. Cathy says:

        ‘Intersectional peony’ always makes me smile as it sounds as if it should be something completely different somehow (don’t know what!). Here’s to lots more clump stroking!!

      4. It is a strange name, isn’t it? I quite like the American term – Itoh peony.

      5. Cathy says:

        Yes, that is improvement, isn’t it

  20. Cathy says:

    What a beautiful post Ali! Your Aquilegia photo is exquisite, and I love that parrot tulip!

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed those two, Cathy. ‘Avignon Parrot’ is a real beauty, isn’t it? I am a sucker for coral!

  21. bittster says:

    Oh the light on your aquilegia, so perfect! What a fantastic photo.
    I also love the foliage on tree peonies. They are so smooth and perfect, with such interesting shades of green.
    But the tulips aren’t all that bad either 😉

  22. Gorgeous photos, Ali – the garden always energizes me too 🙂

  23. It’s a wonderful time of year Ali which your photos capture so well. I hope that you’re enjoying the long weekend and manage to spend some extra time in the garden.

  24. smilecalm says:

    wonderful
    refueling
    garden 🙂

  25. My queendom for such a beautiful garden, Ali! Well done. It all looks so healthy and lush.

  26. Sandy Baham says:

    I love reading your posts and seeing your beautiful pictures, Ali! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you Sandy, that is lovely to hear.

  27. Michelle says:

    What stunning, spring-centered post! There’s something so special about greenery and new beginnings. I love these beautiful photos of some of earth’s gorgeous creations Ali!

    1. Thank you Michelle, I am glad you enjoyed them.

  28. Ali, your garden is gorgeous! What kind of chives do you have? I’m puzzled by the bloom color: I’m used to violet for common or white for garlic chives, but yours look purple. OMG is there a kind of chives I have not grown yet???

    1. They sort of change as the flower matures. I think they are just common or garden chives.

  29. What a tonic for the Soul Ali. Your garden is such a joy.

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