The seed has started, who can stay it? See, The leaves are sprouting high above the ground. Already o'er the flowers its head; the tree That rose beside it, and that on it frowned, Behold! is but a small bush by its side. Still on! it cannot stop; its branches spread; It looks o'er all the earth in giant pride.
WE know that mothers love best those children who give them the most trouble, and it must be on some such principle that this barren hillside of ours wins our best affections; for, as we cultivate its seemingly thankless surface, while it disappoints and resists our loving efforts, all the more there grows in us a tender comprehension of its hidden beauty, a wider sense of its possibilities, and a greater patience with the slow processes by which it is to be restored to vigor and productiveness.
We sympathize with its struggle for self-adornment, poor, barren, ugly thing. The cold northern slope comes slowly to life, turned away as it lies from the fostering sunlight. When the plain and swale are bright with the hues of spring, the uncut grass upon its side is still brown and withered; it seems to dread awakening from its winter sleep, but at last it begins to star itself over with blossoms of white Saxifrage, and anon it grows purple with Bird's-foot Violets, sending out in the sunshine that soft, fleeting perfume which is a hint of the riper fragrance of their English cousins.
At this season, too, the exquisite wild Columbine decks it with earrings of coral and gold, which the country children call meeting-houses from their steeple-shaped horns, and over it the all-pervading Daisy waves its white and yellow blossoms sturdily in the wind, while the wild briers put forth their roses, and the Dog's-bane its fragrant cymes, till the Goldenrods and Asters come at last to hide its barrenness with their royal splendor. And all the while there are short, thin grasses, of tender greens and browns, clothing it humbly, while spots of vivid emerald moss indicate the presence of hidden rivulets that feed a living spring that lies at its foot.
In this spring is the possibility of a water garden, of which there is already a beginning. All summer long you can see shining there the blue eyes of great Forget-me-nots, the seeds of whose forefathers were brought, long ago, from stately Fon-tainebleau by a gentle artist, who planted them by his own brookside, whence they have overrun and made famous the Hing-ham Meadows, their bright blossoms, like scattered fragments of the sky, gleaming among the rushes, and affording a valuable industry to the small boys who sell them at the railway station as you pass. In addition to these continuously blooming flowers, there are Pussy Willows and white Violets in the spring, and in the late summer the Arrowhead lifts its sculpturesque blossom and fine outlined leaf from the water, and the Cardinal-flower uprears its scarlet spikes amid the blossoms of stately grasses. Some day we hope to see a Pond Lily asleep upon its surface, and if the Lotus-flower would but brook our rigorous winters, we should add one to the collection.