Saturday, June 6, 2009


June is not white like a bride bound in bolts of lace. June is green, even though the bridal wreath spirea ( the one I’m thinking of is Spiraea x vanhouttei, though many list Spiraea prunifolia as “bridal wreath” ) is blooming, filling me with memories of the Good Neighbor Tap, the corner bar near where I grew up, and the bridal wreath growing in front of it nearly hacked into posts. They bloomed none the less. It was the first plant name I remember learning, my cousin Dawn said “Bridal Wreath” and we pulled off the clusters of flowers and threw them at one another polka-dotting the side a walk in front of the bar.
June is not red like stage blood spilled at the right moment to enhance Shakespeare’s words. June is green, even though I give impatient nodding glances to the one hybrid tea rose we grow. Michael had taken a cut long stem rose from a birthday bouquet and stuck it in the ground 7 years ago. It’s 6 feet tall now and gives us long stem red roses all summer long. “ Love is like...” I’m still waiting, not for love, but for the “...newly sprung in June.”
June is not purple like grandmas in floral print sweatshirts cruising thrift stores. June is green, even though the second flush of lilacs ( Syringa x prestoniae) is purpling up our hedgerow. I’m hesitant to love theses lilacs like I love the earlier lilacs( Syringa vulgaris cvs), that remind me of my always-dress-wearing grandma and the square foil wrapped Choward’s Violet Mints she kept in her purse. She doled them out cautiously on us kids, who found their sweetness pleasurably soapy.
June is not pink like a slapped cheek. June is green even though everywhere you look is a Fantin-Latour moment with heavy-headed peonies dropping over from the weight of too many petals. Like too much talk or too much sleep makes you feel cranky, even angry, capable of slapping a cheek, I like to shake a saggy peony to free it of some petals, they seem so foolishly burdened, when they could just be leaves.
June is not any color, like rainbow oil slick, but green. To me. June, named for a goddess, is the triumph of leaves making so much green it can’t be seen, I walk blindly through all this beauty each day complaining, or making lists or looking for something to buy, or whatever else I do to occupy my mind instead of using them to see all the green.
Beautiful green.
Beautiful June for being green.

Named after another "goddess" this lovely hosta is called 'Marilyn Monroe', who was born on June 1, 1926.

Before flowers are red or pink or purple they are green buds. I started this yellow flowering clivia from a seed 5 years ago. It is sending up it's first flower spike. I'm still waiting.