Posted by: christinelaennec | June 15, 2013

Who loves who more?

(With apologies to grammar specialists for the blog title – )  I am often surprised to encounter people for whom gardening holds no charm – although I myself used to be one of them.  Certainly as a child I didn’t enjoy working in the garden.  As a young adult, my priorities were travel and study, although I enjoyed being in gardens that other people had tended.  I apparently once said, in my sleep:  “I go into the garden and read,” which about sums it up!

When Michael and I set up our first household together, along with the two Connecticut cats, we started our first garden.  Nearly 30 years later, I continue to learn about the garden, and I love working in it.   When people say to me, “Gardening – it’s too much trouble for what you get back,” I have to disagree.  I feel my garden repays me a hundred-fold for what I give to it (precious little these days!).  For example:

Laburnum tree in my front garden, Aberdeen, 14 June 2013.

Laburnum tree in my front garden, Aberdeen, 14 June 2013.

Rhododendron with bee, my garden, Aberdeen, 14 June 2013.

Rhododendron with bee, my garden, Aberdeen, 14 June 2013.

The Maigold rose is a bit out of synch due to the very cold spring.  It usually blooms once in May (hence the name), and if deadheaded, has another blush of blooms in late summer.  This rosebush is probably about 50 years old, and has survived howling gales and the repointing of the back wall in order to bless us with her lovely scented yellow roses.

Maigold rose, James Galway climbing rose, poppies, lupins, columbines.  My back garden, Aberdeen, 14 June 2013.

Maigold rose, James Galway climbing rose, poppies, lupins, columbines. My back garden, Aberdeen, 14 June 2013.

I have recently learned something I never knew before.  Next to the Maigold rose, a few years back I planted a James Galway climbing English rose, bred by David Austin roses.  I was so excited to see it blooming – but disconcerted to find that each bloom has a green centre!

James Galway climbing rose, suffering from "proliferation".  My garden, Aberdeen, 14 June 2013.

James Galway climbing rose, suffering from “proliferation”. My garden, Aberdeen, 14 June 2013.

I wrote to the folks at David Austin, who explained to me that this is “proliferation,” something that happens with strange weather patterns, such as a warm March followed by a very cold April and May (yep!).  The cells inside the rosebuds go a bit mad and the green centre is the result.  They said if it bothers me, to cut this first flush of blossoms off, and the next ones should be fine – but I rather like the green-centred version.

Below is one of my favourite flowers, a little alpine geranium:

"Ballerina" geranium, my garden, Aberdeen, 14 June 2013.

“Ballerina” geranium, my garden, Aberdeen, 14 June 2013.

This is one of the flowers that I would like to grow in my new garden in Glasgow.

So, you see why I feel that my garden loves me even more than I love it.  There’s such an incredible pouring out of life force to create beauty.  And food for the bees and other insects too, of course.

To conclude, just because I can, a pretty midsummer sunset:

Sunset in mid-June, 10:10 pm, Aberdeen.

Sunset in mid-June, 10:10 pm, Aberdeen.

I wish you all a lovely weekend!  Here we are continuing to marvel at the Dafter’s increasing vitality thanks to those wee iron tablets.  Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers.  She’s been able to get outside into the garden and even into town, which is wonderful.



  1. I have known for a long time about Laburnum’s poison, but your post prompted me to find out more and I discovered the wood has been found very good for making bagpipes! Maybe you should chop it down and put the wood to good use 😉

  2. It all looks beautiful! My hubby is the head gardener here, but I tinker with seed trays and keep things watered. 🙂 Oh and I cook the veggies. 🙂 So good to hear about the Dafter’s progress. xxx

  3. Your garden is so beautiful!
    Very glad to hear things are even a fraction brighter for your daughter. Praying it continues.

    – Laura

  4. Your garden is so pretty. I love the cottage feel to it.

  5. I just love that picture with the lupine and the other flowers. Wow. That is definitely reason for putting in work on the garden! The laburnum tree is also magnificent! How interesting about the green centered rose. Am waiting for my newest rose to bloom any day. It will be a purple color and hopefully also have a strong scent. My back patio is looking so nice and welcoming now to sit down there and our mild weather means we can actually sit outside. I’ve just collected 10 caterpillars from the parsley and soon we will be watching black swallowtail butterflies hatch! Have a good weekend!

  6. A garden is a joy, Christine. And you have proved it!

  7. Hello,
    I just wanted to let you know that I have nominated your blog for the WordPress Family Award. I think your blog is very inspiring, so many thanks for sharing!

  8. Your garden is wonderful Christine. We cal the Laburnum tree “Golden Rain ”
    ( a free translation :))

  9. your garden is an inspiration. really lovely. i can see why you would appreciate it so much. i am particularly partial to rosebushes and i will be on the lookout for the gorgeous orange bush … i’m assuming it is the maigold, correct me if i’m wrong. so thrilled to hear that your wonderful daughter has more energy these days and is able to get out and about. what a heart-warming post.

  10. I am an avid gardener, too, Christine – one of the little joys in life. I’m happy to hear that the Dafter’s iron pills are working wonders for her health and that she is able to enjoy the garden with you. ❤

  11. I love your garden, Christine…the pics are wonderful. No doubt you will enjoy creating another garden at your new home…

  12. Your garden is so beautiful, I look forward to seeing what you do with your new garden in Glasgow. Thank you for sharing the lovely pictures and I am so so glad about your daughter, as others have said, I too pray it continues

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