To live content with small means.
To seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion.
To be worthy not respectable,
and wealthy not rich.
To study hard, think quietly, talk gently,
act frankly, to listen to stars, birds, babes,
and sages with open heart, to bear all cheerfully,
do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual,
unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.
By William Ellery Channing
The above images were taken while standing under the canopy of my dear neighbor Mickey’s Brugmansia ‘Charles Grimaldi’. It was like being under a magical umbrella of fragrance with the sun shining through the leaves and downward facing trumpets of golden yellow. I didn’t want to come out! Click here to read last year’s story about my sweet neighbors. There are three plants in this bed that remain in the ground all winter with a cage of chopped leaves for protection. This year they were late to regrow and he feared they had not survived. His dear wife of over fifty years, Mae, passed away this spring and his gardening efforts are not what they once were. But these brugs still radiate love and beauty in his amazing garden.
Mickey had generously cut some leaves from his banana tree for me to attempt leaf castings. They all broke while being unmolded, but this brug leaf was a success and was left on his back porch as a token of friendship.
Many thanks to Carolyn Gail of Sweet Home And Garden Chicago for hostessing the muse day on the first of each month. We are late, but hope she will allow us to join in this wonderful meme.
*This poem was clipped from a newspaper long ago and sits on a paper spindle, pierced through the center as inspiration. The words speak of a life well lived, a noble goal.
Added: Lotusleaf of Garden Tropics has kindly informed me that today is the birthday of Mahatma Ghandi. Very fitting poem to honor that great man. Thanks so much for that, Lotus. 🙂
A noble goal indeed. I wondered how those brugs got so big. They are gorgeous.
Frances, this is a symphony that I will take to heart.
A very noble goal–one I hope to achieve someday–I am a work in progress. Love the poem, and the trumpets of gold are amazing. I can just imagine being under their canopy as they danced in the wind.
So, that is the Charles Grimaldi!! Beautiful brugmansias and an incredible garden too!
Words to live by, Frances. I have a quote that is on my blog that inspires me daily – “When the day is over and you have done your best, wait the results in peace.” It’s kind of my mantra. Thanks for sharing your’s.
The casting looks great and those Brugs look pretty cool too.
Beautiful poem, ‘To seek elegance rather than luxury’ !! Wonderful. Great bloom to showcase this ‘Symphony’. Love the Brugmansia–what an amazingly large plant! I will have to go back and read the older post about it. Left in the ground mulched! That is amazing!! Apparently cold hardy with a little care. Love the color.
They look just like mine and are a wonderful variety those brugs. Not this year. I have four HUGE ones I am giving away and wish I could get you one. It is pink. Not sure if you’d want it with such pretty ones next door. I’ll be making banana leaf castings soon. Last year I waited a bit too long and all the leaves were gone:( The brug leaf turned out great.
Taking inspiration from that poem, I think I could be pretty satisfied just looking at that one plant today – it’s so gorgeous. (Actually, it’s a poem I need to read everyday.) And congratualtions on the Blotanical awards -all well deserved!!
The casting is lovely, with all the veins showing. The brugs are a lovely colour, Mine are pink. They are also blooming profusely now. The poem reminds me of Mahatma Gandhi, whose birthday it is today.
Frances, The brugs are show stopping beautiful and illustrate perfectly the wise words of Mr Channing. They are just the sunny antidote to a rainy, cool day! Thank you for lifting my spirits. gail
Symphony…those beautiful trumpet flowers. One can almost imagine them being musical…
mystical. The poem is a creed for life, for sure. Very nice!
Oh Frances, what a beautiful, inspiring poem! Thanks so much for sharing it.
Mickey’s brugs are gorgeous. I can close my eyes, breathe deeply, and imagine their heavenly scent. What a perfect place for meditation on Mr. Channing’s wise words.
Gorgeous flowers and a lovely poem! Am following you now. See you around, Frances.
Beautiful images and sentiments.
What a great muse. Really spot on.
I grew a yellow brugmansia like that for a couple of years. It got to about 5 or 6 feet tall and flowered prolifically and smelt nice in the evening though a touch soporific by the front door on the patio.
I finally succumbed to laziness and didn’t resurrect it for the 3rd year as the constant watering vigilance made me submit. I regret that now.
Lovely Frances, as always. I don’t think I could say it better. You were lucky too to have Mickey as your neighbor. I miss my Wanda who was the first gardener I knew who was as crazy as I was about gardening.~~Dee
Lovely thoughts & photos. I can’t believe they do that well in Tennessee with your cold winters!
That’s quite a lovely plant! My mom grows these as well, she moves them inside during the winter.
Such an inspiring poem, Frances! This one deserves to be framed and hung where it can be read frequently. (Although I tend to use refrigerator magnets.) Lovely photos; glad to see that Mickey’s garden continues on.
Just the issue to raise one’s morale. Beautiful brugs. Mine has not flowered this yr. Maybe next.
Oh man, I’d love those in my garden but I don’t think -30 F would suit them.
Your neighbor’s brugs are magnificent! Your photos are gorgeous and beg to be painted, there is such a wonderful interplay of texture and light.
Just beautiful poem, plant, pictures and sentiment. You have hit a home run!
What a great description of standing under the Brugmansia – ‘a magical umbrella of fragrance’.
Beautiful poem and words that are so true. That’s some huge Brugmansias!
Frances, Such truth in simplicity… lovely words. Happy belated Birthday Gandhi! Your golden glowing photos are gorgeous and bring warmth into this New England cold wet day. I love Brugmansia … trumpets of the angels… I keep meaning to grow it in a container. What a gift to have such a neighbor. Carol
A wonderful selection for Muse Day, Frances. If we would all strive to live up to these words of inspiration it would be a much better world.
Beautiful photos of a lovely plant and an inspirational poem. There are many forms or riches in the world and I think gardeners are blessed with the ability to take pleasures from seeing what is all around us.
love the words you chose to post with your elegant pictures. a goal more of us should have. congrats on all your awards from blotanical! i am very happy for you…it must feel very gratifying. happy autumn.
Very pretty plant and your post reminds me again I need to do a concrete cast of an Elephant Ear leaf.
What a beautiful symphony all those trumpets must create! Why oh why don’t I have brugs in my garden? How stupid of me!
That is such a lovely poem, Frances. I don’t think I’ve read it before. Thank you for introducing me to it.
First, congrats on all your awards! Second, beautiful muse. Love it.
A beautiful Muse Day post, Frances, perfect for welcoming October. Happy Autumn!
Wonderful prose you chose to go along with these photos. I think everyone loves Autumn, and the cooler air and vivid colors. Thanks for sharing. I like the name of your gardens.
Wow, I wouldn’t want to come out of there, either! Thank you for telling us how many plants there are there, otherwise, I was going to ask. I grow white daturas, and they are pretty, but the brugs are more graceful. The muse gave food for thought, too. I was going to do one this time, but the day got away from me.
Hello Frances! Beautiful poem and I love those Angel Trumpet Trees. I used to have one, but it died and I really want to get another one. I didn’t realize you could grow them so far north.
Oh yes…I forgot to CONGRATULATE you Frances on some very well deserved recognition!!! I wasn’t sure when they were posting the winners, but was so glad to see you were well recognized.
I knew you would love the hummingbird photos. This is something I see you trying and succeeding in.
What an artistic post, with the close-up photos reminding me of maybe the love child of Georgia O’Keefe and Robert Maplethorpe.
Congratulations on the well-deserved recognition from fellow bloggers. Now you KNOW we love you.
And to read that his wife passed is so sad—I’m glad the plant came back for him. What a grand specimen. Very magical and your poem made it even more so.
I do hope you read this e-mail to you. I have been away for some time, but when I had the opportunity to vote on Blotanical I always voted you number one, in every category.
I admire all of your fine and artistic posts. All are very inspiring and moving, and of the best quality in writing and photography.
I have not posted recently on my blog. But if I do, may I share it with you?
I have been listening and observing these last few months, and just “living” in my garden. I suppose that I am a “Winter” blogger on Blotanical; exploring ideas of the garden: our hopes, dreams and ideas for a new season.
I have been away, Frances, but your blog has inspired me all through the spring and summer. Thank you,.
With great friendship,
(Philips garden blog) not posted yet, but I would love your thoughts!
Smiles and warm regards