Stonehenge in the Garden

Two weeks ago, if you had walked through our back garden gate, the gardenia would have made you take notice of it because its full blooming filled the garden with sweet fragrance. And over in a neighbor’s yard, a large Ligustrum would be adding to the scents of early summer. The gardenia is only three years old, but its rich green leaves and its full bright white blooms add to what was a corner of the garden before we moved the fence to the far back, and the Ligustrum’s blooming scent sent waves of sweetness across the yards.

Now all that remains are dull brown blooms on both plants. No more does a visitor smell them before seeing them. But the abelia next to the screened porch has blossomed and its small white flowers not only attract bees but sends a soft scent more subtle than the others and powerful in the way its summons the bees. The going of one leads to the arrival of another, and that is the pleasure of gardens.

Yesterday folks gathered in various ways around the world to mark the summer solstice, but I marked the beginning of the season by observing the gardenia, Ligustrum, and abelia. Their life cycle and fading blooms are my Stonehenge sunrise, my notice that another season has arrived.

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