Hyssop. I know two things about hyssop – we have it planted in the third bed from center in the middle garden and the aromatics of this unassuming perennial remind of the northern Rhone Valley; most notably the unparalled interpretation of Viognier found in Condrieu. Menthol, vanilla and anise radiate from the purplish green leaves of hyssop. In just a few weeks, our hyssop will once again be all grown up and will be pushing out its flowers, ready to be used in the summer bouquets. But today, the plant is just a small burst of tender leaves.
As are some of the other flowering trees and shrubs around the property. We are coming to the end of flowering tree season, but there remains the lacey white flower of viburnum and the always triumphant return of lilacs. Is there a spring flower that can carry its scent with the delicate patience of a lilac? My first introduction to lilacs was at my grandmother’s house many years ago. I can still remember burying my nose in the bunches of purple flowers in her backyard. Today as we ended our day in the garden, I thought of her house and her small garden as wafts of lilacs from below our fruit trees followed us as we walked up to the house for the night.
What was missing today that was the assertiveness of chokecherry flower. For a few days this past week, our lone chokecherry has been filling the back yard nearest the house with strong lemon and vanilla aromas. I believe our tree is four years old. I might be off by a year either way. I look forward to its leaves changing from green to purple each year, but each year I forget how lovely of a fragrance that the tree gives off as April turns to May.
It was an all out effort today. Every Saturday this time year is. Young plants went in the ground, the grass in the gardens was cut, persimmon trees were planted and the farmstand was as busy as could be for the first weekend in May. With any luck Violet and Wyatt sleep gentle into the night and a few innings of baseball can be enjoyed before we start again tomorrow.