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Floral frenzy on the farmette

It's only been a month since I wrote about the floral display the farmette puts on, but everything has completely changed on the landscape, so I thought I'd give an update. The symbolism of flowers is pretty cool (the Victorians were especially adept at placing emotional baggage on our petalled friends), so I thought I'd provide a wee bit of background for each of the plants I'll describe today.

The hydrangeas are doing their gorgeous white thing -- looking like gigantic snowballs in the summer sun. I have a healthy plot just off the west patio door where they've basically taken over.

Their story is very multicultural, and, depending on who you want to believe, they're a symbol of contrition or conceit or aloofness.

Legend has it that a Japanese emperor gave a hydrangea plant as an apology to the family of a girl he loved because he had neglected her in favour of his business. I think the girl should have received the plant, but that's me.

The Victorians, on the other hand, saw them as a symbol of boastfulness because they're so showy, but they also sent them to would-be partners who had turned down amorous forays as a sign of frigidity. Wow, the late 1800s were fascinating - people gave away FLOWERS to show their disdain.

I have sweet peas growing up the lattice work in the back beds - which is a miracle, really.

While I can grow just about anything, my weak area is climbers...I've tried morning glories, roses, clematis - you name it - and none have grown beyond ground level at the farmette. It's been a real sore point - until this year.

They really are glorious in full blossom, and their symbolic connotation is - appropriately - blissful pleasure, which is how I feel when I look at them and sniff their heavenly fragrance.

I have a bazillion hostas of many different varieties all around the property, but my favourite is at the northeast corner of the house. Look at the striking contrast of this variegated beauty!

The hosta is symbolic of ardent and loyal devotion, which is what I've received from my many, many plantings and dividings of these perennial stalwarts. Unlike the climbers (see above), these guys just keep producing and looking fantastic year after year, after year.

Finally, I have a bunch of volunteer milkweed whose seeds have drifted across the road from the pasture over the years.

Since I'm not what you would call a 'formal' gardener, I've basically welcomed them and allowed them to proliferate. This spring, I only pulled out a few to let us to get from the sidewalk to the car without getting battered.

The milkweed is a sign of transformation, change and moving in a different direction, kind of like the monarch butterfly, that uses it to fuel its migration from North to Central America.

In fact, the whole of the farmette's back yard is in a constant state of transition, and I love that every time I take a trip around the acreage, there's something new, different and intriguing to see, smell and savour. Until next week.

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