They must have family records of interest, these ladylike old blossoms. Those yellow Daffodils, with their long green ribbons, have nestled up against that wall till, no doubt, they regard it as an ancient castle, of which they are the chatelaines; and I am sure that dignified Narcissus must have a history. There is a sweet June Honeysuckle straggling there which breathes an old-time fragrance, and the tiny petals of the pale pink Bridal Rose which flutters beside it have the very tint of soft color one sees in the cheek of an ancient maiden. A wild Clematis seems to grow out of the wall itself, - I have never been able to find its root, - and every fall a Prince's-feather waves its tall plume where once it danced with a Lady's-slip-per. The Pansies have all degenerated into Lady's-delights, and the Hollyhocks come up single, but here they grow and blossom beside a pendulous Forsythia, the seed of which was, no doubt, sown by some passing bird, for it is not, I think, one of the older shrubs in this village.
The rest of the garden is perfectly formless and wild. Nothing has been done to the old part of the farm, except to clean away the weeds and sticks that encumbered it, and the old plants have grown lank and tall along the fence and under the heavy shade of the trees. But here in the spring the ground is blue and fragrant with hardy English Violets, that fill the air with perfume and blossom long before even the native White Violet, which leads the way among our New England flowers; and wherever you walk you come upon a Tulip, or a Star of Bethlehem, or a feeble Crocus choked by the strong grasses, and cheery Daffys are wagging their golden heads in sheltered spots, and later there are to be seen groups of sculpturesque Narcissus shining whitely under the shrubbery, "like a good deed in a naughty world." The Flowering Almond sends up spikes of bloom; the Periwinkle, white and blue, hides among its shining leaves, while the Moneywort has strayed away from the garden and made of itself a nuisance in the orchard, where it threatens to root out everything else. There also are great clumps of the giant Solomon's Seal in shady nooks, where they grow to wondrous size.
And the Flower o' the Quince is a rare sight in the springtime, as its rosy flush mantles the scraggy old trees which are good for little but blossoms. There is a huge Viburnum bush in the orchard which is a snowy mass in May, when the Snow-berry buds are showing their little pink heads against the fence, where they struggle with the wild Raspberry bushes which make their life burdensome to them; and in places through the grass, where once a well kept Strawberry patch existed, are to be found the white blossoms of a few survivors mightier than their conquerors.
In a low, neglected spot is a clump of those old orange-colored Lilies that used always to abound in country gardens, for once established they could never be rooted out; and these, undiscouraged by frequent mowings, bloom and spread in unchecked luxuriance.
There are Lilacs, purple, white and Persian, in profusion, and the Mock Orange and Spiraeas all have their turn as the seasons go round. One White Lilac has shot up to the height of a two-story house, and now that the windows are no longer there to help one to gather them, it shows, when in bloom, a crown of inaccessible blossoms; others yield their wealth of flowers nearer at hand, and by the well a Persian Lilac drops like a fountain with rosy jets.