Year of Grace, Day 179. The garden at dusk

The white hydrangeas are just coming into bloom. Yesterday at dusk this is what entranced me.

The white hydrangea is Hydrangea paniculata grandiflora, otherwise known as “peegee” (p.g., get it?); the variety is Limelight, and in the run up to blooming, the panicles are lime-coloured, until the sepals open to white. In the autumn, the sepals turn to pink.

I had envisioned this part of the garden to be blue and white. Evidently the blue hydrangeas had other ideas, as you can see in the background, so after trying to get them revert to being completely blue by watering them biweekly with a blueing liquid, I’ve decided to let them be for now. They are so gorgeous the way they are – mauve, purple, blue, and pink, and all shades in between — that I’ve come to prefer them this way.

And this agapanthus nearby, its roots well protected in a clay pot from the resident voles and moles who dig up everything in the ground, is coming into bloom as well. This is a cold-hardy variety though it did suffer a bit from this winter’s frosts and snow, and I am glad that it has recovered.  I love that its buds are a very dark blue, and then when the petals open, they are pale blue with a dark streak through the centre.

The borages are in bloom too – self-sown from plants of previous years. I shall be sprinkling these sky-blue flowers that taste of cucumber onto salads.

I might add some peppery nasturtiums as well.

This South African allium, whose name I can never remember and so I call it garlic allium, has two flowering stalks this year, its second year of blooming. Last year it had only one. And the curious thing is that within seconds the name Tulbaghia popped into my head. My erratic memory certainly works in mysterious ways! But just to make sure I had it right, I googled it. It is indeed Tulbaghia violacea, and its mauve colour justifies its specific name. It is also known as pink Agapanthus, though it is more violet than a distinct pink. It has also been discovered to have anti-cancer and other medicinal properties. Oh, and like most other alliums like garlic and onion, the leaves and flowers are also edible raw, and thus the alternative name “Society Garlic” (milder than true garlic, and thus fit for society). I shall be using them as edible decor.

Those were the stars that lit up my garden at dusk yesterday. It was so lovely just sitting there as night fell and I was reluctant to get back indoors. But the grass mites, despite the garden being thoroughly sprayed with neem just days ago, found me within seconds, attested by itchy patches that made themselves felt at once all over my legs and arms. I was forced to retreat and immediately shower, and from the unbitten, un-itchy safety of the upstairs window, I was able to continue admiring the soothing view.

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