Fourteen years ago I moved into this little corner of the world with Eric (ex-husband) and we marveled at how pretty it all was.
The garden and fields were full of willow herb and it was in full bloom. Just like the photo above, gorgeous colour and a profusion of pretty flowers standing tall, and well EVERYWHERE. The cottage had been a rental for a few years before we bought it and the garden had gone a tad wild.
From our original 'ah, how pretty' observations on the willow herb, we eventually grew to hate the stuff. Boy was it difficult to shift. There was just so much of it too.Anyway, eventually we freed ourselves from its clutches and reclaimed the garden.
Willow herb grows wild all over this area. The lanes are full of it all summer. This year I photographed it as I was running past. I grew to appreciate it for a beauty in its own right. Not just as a towering strength of purple flowers so glorious in their massed splendor, almost like an army in their straight form and closed ranks.
No, it was in its changes that I found most beauty and interest. Yes, those purple flowers were showy and definitely eye-candy, but as the summer wore on the willow herb changed her dress and got softer and more approachable as she aged. She went from beautiful but hard, to soft, faded but touchable.
By the end of the season all her foliage fell. From riotous purple, to fluffy snowy softness, now there was just the bare bones on show. No longer a display, no more a flower in any form.
Now a shape. Her comrades may have fallen around her feet, there may be less of her type standing, only one in ten has made it through the year. But see her stand proud in her naked splendor (Gok would be proud of her!), see the shape of those delicate yet iron strong bones. She is still there, she is still a beauty, only now she is pared down, she if different and yet the same. It is still her, these are her bones, she just had different coverings on show throughout her lifetime. Now she stands tall in her own right, in herself.It's those bones inside that count.