Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Friday, 2 August 2013


Britta Hill

At this time of the year my garden looks decidedly Wilhelmine.
It is the high evening primrosesOenothera drummondi, that creates this romantic impression, and she greets me in abundance every morning with her huge, soft sulphur- yellow-coloured flowers. 
Some people amaze me: when I tell them about these mornings they say: “Well – Evening Primrose - is'nt that the weed which always grows on the embankments of the railway?” 
Yes, there they grow too, as lilac does, or the butterfly bush in England.
But weed??
I see only qualities: it is absolutely modest, not prone to pests, and produces seeds like mad. Every evening it gives you filmic live-shows in slow-motion, flowers eternally till deep into autumn, and can be extracted easily where it isn't wanted, because everyone can spot their beautiful leaf-rose, and get the root out with one tug. 
And: it is absolutely beautiful! 
Moonlight in my garden, and the living candles of the evening primrose flower softly in the night, shedding their own shimmering cool moonlight around them. 
At half past ten in the evening I sit on my bench and dream upon my garden. Two bats flutter through the air in strange mystifying circles, the world is quiet. The garden still glows in the light of the full moon, gleams with white lilies whose scent is even stronger as in daytime, and hundreds of tender yellow evening primrose flowers cast their spell on me. A Midsummer Dream. 
Another world.  


  1. Sadly, the Buddleia butterfly bush which grows on bomb sites and cliff tops is so good at hanging on in tiny cracks in masonry, that it can destroy buildings as it grows. You have an enchanted moonlight garden.

  2. Dear Tom,
    the same with vine creepers (here around the corner a house is covered from top to toe - somehow gothic-creepy). Not good for the building, I think. But the fat root of the evening primrose one can even eat - French call it 'jambon de jardinière' - gardener's bacon (mmh - sounds - when I see it before my eyes - odd.. - bacon for the gardener, maybe)

  3. Living candles is such a beautiful way to describe a bloom! Britta, that image will stay in my heart for a long time. The bats just add the final touch, don't they? This is such a romantic post.

    1. Dear Suze,
      they really are - and you got to the heart of it: romantic - as the Wilhelmine ladies in their lovely dresses.

  4. Replies
    1. Dear Susan,
      me too - they are really lovely and undemanding. Ideal for gardens.

  5. Beautifully written! I too am astonished by some of the beautiful, eager, shrubs and herbs that others call weeds. Enchanting photo!

  6. Dear Geo,.
    thank you! Maybe it is because the flowers of 'weeds' often are tiny ( society obsessed with images of big) and for free (society obsessed with buying exclusive things), - and maybe because they do what they want (s. obsessed with controlling).

  7. I value the volunteers, the weeds and the nuisances that show up in my garden. After all, I can just pull them out when they start to overtake other species. With our lack of rainfall, and thin soil, I welcome anything that has the stamina to survive.
    Great moon shot!

  8. Dear Pondside,
    thank you - the moon was so "ripe". So your climate isn't especially garden-friendly - or is it just this year?

  9. What a beautiful scene you paint! x

  10. Dear Penny,
    I really love watching and describing what my heart loves.

  11. Hope you got to enjoy the full moon tonight, I realize I am writing this while it is the middle of the night for you. It is a Blue Moon, the third full moon in a season.
    One man's wildflower is another person's weed, sadly.