Lately I’ve been preoccupied with naughty girls—Rose Mallow and her Japanese beetle thug paramours, Rose Campion and Anise Hyssop. Today marks the anniversary of another naughty girl and her very rebellious act that so ceremoniously dumped the vengeful and neglectful parent.
However, today is but a filler in a sense, an explanation of a decision. If Richard Henry Lee brought before the Continental Congress of the United Colonies a resolution declaring independence from Great Britain and nearly a month of debate ensued, then the formal vote for the absolution of political ties to the Crown occurred on 2 July 1776. The Declaration “merely,” formally stated the reasons for doing so.
Certain of the gravitas of the vote, John Adams write to his wife Abigail that the 2nd of July would “be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.” My, how history eludes even those most involved in its making.
And so, in a bit of metaphoric parallelism, I began mulching the front and back gardens on 2 July as a declaration of independence from our excessive heat and drought, a preparation for even more extreme temperatures to come this week. Mulching—as with the Congressional vote for independence, the debate that led up to it, and the opposition of Pennsylvania and South Carolina even down to the wire—was the hard work, the foundation that had to be set for the observances that would follow.
But the real display, the real celebration, comes on the 4th. Today, as is customary in the United States, fireworks regale me, and the bells toll—but these aren’t the usual trappings of an American Fourth. (Really: can there be anything but an American Fourth?!) Tall Purpletop Verbena gesticulates towards the heavens, while Carpathian Harebells (Campanula carpatica Blue Clips) ring the certainty of life against the starburst of Rudbeckia. Not to be outdone in the shade garden, Obsidian heuchera sends upwards delicate plumes of diminutive flowers and the hostas, not grown for their flowers, offer their own floral display of appreciation.