Scale and Perspective

by | Mar 27, 2013 | Nature | 4 comments |

crocus“Carole, your crocuses are up – have you seen them?” No I haven’t, I answered my husband Keith. The scope of Vanaprastha’s mountain land dwarfed my much-beloved spring flowers almost to the point of invisibility. In landscape planning, I had not considered the matter of scale.

Last fall, I planted a few hundred spring bulbs, daffodils, crocuses and Japanese irises, on the slopes around and in the meadow in front of our house, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. Perhaps I longed for reminders of my childhood home in southern Connecticut, the climate zone being similar to the mountains of Virginia.

It was comforting to be a small thing like a crocus growing in Connecticut’s woods, valleys and hills, cuddled up to the intimate habitat. Yet, when I grew older and left home for college, Connecticut’s closeness seemed small, too close for me. It was not that I couldn’t have thrived in Connecticut. There are infinite curiosities to explore everywhere, but I chose elsewhere.

The world beyond Round Hill beaconed, and the George Washington National Forest, Rockfish Valley and Three Ridges wilderness area towered above Connecticut’s Round Hill. But being a small thing in such a large place as the Blue Ridge required a different perspective.

snow032513Although my hearty, woodland crocuses now live under heavy wet snow, I know that they will return to fulfill their missions as soon as the snow recedes. I trust that my daffodils and miniature irises will soon bloom in the front meadow.  Thereafter I will plant grasses and perhaps more shrubs and trees to keep my little crocuses company.

For me, it is a matter of creating an intimate perspective in a large-scale world.

I wish all my readers a very Happy Easter.


  1. Cathy Civello

    I remember how happy we were in St. Louis, where I went to college, to see spring arrive. It’s all a blur in Dallas–hot, cool, less hot, cooler–you know what I mean.

    • Carole Duff

      Indeed, Dallas sprawls across plains, skies and seasons. I’m enjoying the sharper focus of Virginia’s mountains. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Keith Kenny

    Crocuses are an annual reminder of persistence against adversity, rising after a fall, and the great strength that can lie in small delicate things.

    • Carole Duff

      Would that we small things had such strength. Thanks for your comment.


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