Counting the Years
When I was born the summer sun was high up in the sky
The green beans they did run and run, up the poles so high!
When I was one tomatoes grew all round and red and plump
I learned to walk, I learned to run and even how to jump!
And then I grew and grew some more and turned the age of two
I learned to speak and sing among the violets so blue.
When I was three I learned to say "I" instead of me
The Lilies of the Valley they grew up right up to my knee.
And I remember when I was a little girl of four
My hands were yellow, buttery bright from dandelions galore!
At five years old I started school and got a watering can
To water the geraniums that grew in pots and pans.
And at the tender age of six, I liked to watch the ants
Crawling on the peony buds and other kinds of plants.
Then the sun went round and round and seven I did turn
Asparagus grew tall and green mid soft and feathery ferns.
And then upon the age of eight, I liked to climb a tree
where apples grew in autumn time for our family.
And at the age of nine years old, our tree of apricots
Gave us loads and loads of fruit, we liked them quite a lot!
At ten years old, I sold my own bunches of homegrown dill
The first money I did make, it really was a thrill!
And now I am much older now, the years go by and by
I do not count them anymore, the numbers are too high!
But I do like to sit and tell stories now and then
Of memories in the garden green from ages one to ten!
© written by Christine Summerfield/August 28, 2018
Five little girls one summer's day
Went to the garden to laugh and play.
But when the sun so hot did grow
And no cooling breeze did blow...
Grandma had the perfect treat
Watermelon red and sweet!
Juice - a -running
Seeds -a - spitting
Underneath the shade a sitting
There's nothing like the summer treat
Of watermelon and bare feet!
© written by Christine Summerfield/August 25, 2018
G is for Gunnera
Growing in the sunnera
Showing off your great big leaves!
You are so much funnera
As tall as a dinosaur's knee!
You provide a tonnera
Of shade for my friends and me!
© Christine Summerfield/August 20, 2018
I have so many kinds of thyme in my garden green
Some you may have met before and some you've never seen!
And there's so many things to do with all the different thymes
Here's a few to share with you in story and in rhyme...
French thyme and English thyme,
I like to plant in pots.
They grow just by my kitchen door
I cook with them a lot.
And sometimes in my winter tea
I like a little zing
Lemon thyme and orange thyme
are the perfect thing!
Elfin thyme and woolly thyme like to creep and crawl
In the cracks between the stones and along a wall.
It's fun to walk on woolly thyme
in my barren feet
A lawn of thyme is fun to grow
It really can't be beat!
There are so many things to do with all the many thymes
Fun to use and fun to grow and even fun to rhyme.
But my favorite kind of thyme is one you cannot see
Time for tea and teddy bears, friends and family!
© written by Christine Summerfield/June 28, 2018
Such a pretty dolly dock
In summer my oh my!
Standing up so tally tock
Reaching to the sky!
Grows along the wally wock
For all the passersby!
©Christine Summerfield/July 25, 2018
Linden Summer Dreams
Have you ever had a scent that took you far away?
To a distant memory where you once did play?
Well this happened to me on a sleepy summer day...
It came about when I did a walk one sunny afternoon
And suddenly I stepped inside a special kind of room
I then I heard a buzzing sound up in the canopy
The humming of the honey bees intoxicated me
But most of all, what I recall was the sweet perfume
Wafting o'er my senses five, it slowly did consume.
Above the flowers sweet and gold were bracts so green and long
They looked like helicopter wings delicate but strong
Amidst the fragrance and the sound, I slowly fell asleep
And dreamed of places far away with stories wild and deep
Bees a chanting...
Wings a spinning...
The fragrance carried me away with its scent sublime
To other places in the world and to other times
Places where the linden tree is loved and so revered
For its special treasures for a multitude of years
Slovenia was the special place I first saw in the east
Where children danced around the tree during spring time feasts
And then I saw the linden tree in Polish countrysides
Protecting castles and churches old with reverence and pride
And artisans were carving wood from the linden tree
Of Mary holding her little child oh so tenderly
And then I flew to cities grand, Berlin and Paris too
Where linden trees dotted streets and giant avenues
And mothers in the land of France had a wisdom best
Linden tea for children young to help them sleep and rest
And it is said in tales of old that maidens young and free
Waited for their knights so bold 'neath the linden tree
In Germany the leaders met in tiny village squares
Underneath the linden tree to make a judgement fair
For linden trees were symbols then of justice, truth and peace
In ancient lands and ancient times of Turkey, Rome and Greece
I flew around the world it seemed on that summer's day
To places where the linden tree had stories old to say
So if you ever find yourself amidst the linden sap
You just might like to fall asleep for a summer nap
And climb aboard to journey far on helicopter wings
Where the linden tree is loved by poets, knights and kings.
written by Christine Summerfield © July 22, 2018
Umbrella in the Sun
As I was walking down the street one sultry summer day
My umbrella shaded me from the sunny rays.
I held it straight above my head, a shadow it did make
But then I stopped and looked awhile, and said "for heaven's sake!"
I saw a white umbrella too,
but it was upside down
The top was flat, the bottom small
and it was nice and round.
I wondered why it stood right up
and opened to the sky
Instead of pointing to the ground,
it stood so straight and high!
And when I took a closer look
I saw more and more
Teeny tiny umbellets
blooming by the score!
I gazed at this pretty plant
So delicate and white
And then I heard a little voice
So sweet and so polite...
"My family of lady bugs we land here every day
To take a rest and sit awhile after morning play.
You hold your umbrella down
to shade you from the sun
But this umbrella opens wide,
there's room for everyone!
For butterflies and honeybees
and praying mantis too
For ladybugs and dragonflies
with their wings of blue!
"Other plants have umbels too, like celery and dill
Coriander, parsley green, give us quite a thrill!
And then there is the fennel plant
that tastes like licorice sweet
Yarrow flowers, elder too are quite the summer treat!
We love the umbel family, the flowers and the weeds
For resting and for feeding on the teeny tiny seeds!"
I thought about the carrot wild
and the seeds they made
And how umbrellas can be used
for rain or sun or shade!
Thank you dearest lady bug,
you tiny lady bird
For teaching me about the plant,
and the "umbel" word!
written by Christine Summerfield © July 19, 2018
Jewel in the Crown
A field full of weeds
as the summer sun burns...
The old ones recede
and the new take their turns...
Blossoming now on the warm summer stage
Enters the King as we turn the page...
Standing tall with scepter of thorns
His purple flowers await to be born.
Filling his crown with flowers bright
Like amethyst jewels they shine in the light.
With his prickles sharp, no one comes near
Instilling respect and a wee bit of fear!
But the winged ones know of his royal treasures
They dig for his gold with fervor and pleasure!
For his flowers are softer to the touch
The bees and the butterflies like them so much!
And when the jewels fade away from the crown
They change to brittle, dry rusty brown
But the gold finch knows of the treasures inside
Quickly she lands and knows where they hide.
She mines all day in a cloudy white puff
Filling her beak with seeds from the fluff!
After the seeds from the rusty old crown
The last gift remains, the gift of the down.
Silky and soft, the gentlest of all
Will line the nests of the finches so small.
Have you heard the news?
Did you all hear hear?
I have some little clues...
About a guest who's here!
She is a color like no other
Come and take a peek
Half of one and half of the other
She is quite unique.
She brings a special kind of sheen to places in the shade
A mix of yellow and of green, she is on parade!
Other kinds of greens do grow
in my garden fair
Avocado, Forest Green
Sage and Moss and Pear.
And then there is Pistachio
Granny Apple too
Effervescent Lemon Lime
Will make you say "At Choo!"
But this one is fluorescent green
She comes from South East France
A cordial made by silent monks
From one hundred plants!
She has a very special name
It is La Grande Chartreuse
Yellow Green and luminous
One you can't refuse!
Here's a few of her plants in my garden bed
She paints the flowers and the leaves, they'll make you turn your head!
Hellebore of Corsica is greeny-yellow gold
Her foliage is evergreen even in winter's cold.
And then Hydrangea shrub is there, her name is Annabelle
Her flowers are so delicate, she's quite the Mademoiselle.
And then there is a carpet wild that runs along the ground
Creeping Jenny she is called, she does not make a sound.
written by Christine Summerfield/June 18, 2018
Every night I walk along the same old path so dear
There's always something new to see in seasons of the year.
In the winter the dirty field is quiet, brown and rough
The plants are dry and brittle then, they look kind of tough.
The field is full of tall brown stalks that stand so quietly
Like candlesticks in churches from my childhood memory.
It seems like there's not much to see in this quiet time
But patiently I walk each night to look for living signs.
And sure enough in the spring, I see new leaves abound
Sagey-greeny, big and wide, they circle round and round.
It's as if they're asking me to give a little touch
They're soft and fuzzy on my skin, I like it very much!
I wonder what will come of them, these leaves so bright and new?
With faithfulness I walk each night to see what they will do.
And gradually as springtime light gives way to summer sun
I watch their leaves with open eyes to see what they have done.
The stalks have grown and soared with might reaching to the sky
Like cathedral domes of old with their ceilings high.
And then the very best of all is waiting to unfold
A multitude of flowers bright, shining yellow and gold!
It's as if God came down and lit each candle bright
While I slept in darkness in the hours of the night.
A meadow now has come alive with birds and bugs and bees
Color, music, fragrance too, a wonder for all to see!
As I stood in nature's church enraptured by it all
I heard a tiny buzzing sound, a faint little call....
A honey bee she flew to me with her wings of gold
Her legs were full of pollen rich, a story to me she told...
"Now the candlesticks are lit, each flowers shining bright
All our sisters travel here in the summer light.
To the Mullein plants so tall, Verbascum its Latin name
The herbalists of ancient lore knew of its fame.
To you, these look like olden weeds, but we know value true
A treasure trove of pollen gold for honey for me and you!
And when the Mulleins go to sleep in the autumn time
They share their seeds with all the birds in the fall sunshine.
So please don't ever mow them down or throw them all away
They are rich and meaningful each and every day.
Grow them in your gardens too or leave them in the wild
They are friendly to the touch, especially a child."
I thanked the bee for telling me of the noble weed
With its flowers for the bees and its precious seed.
And now when I walk along in evenings before dark
I thank it as it comes to life, my beloved Candlestick Park!
written by Christine Summerfield, April 19, 2018