Freeing the Mind

“Our minds should be free from traces of the past, just like the flowers of spring”

Shunryu Suzuki

Ribes sanguineum

(Flowering currant)

This flower of spring is both striking and delicate…

The shrub is stunning from a distance; the fresh green of the leaves just unfurling contrasts wonderfully with the fat red buds which open slowly and often last a good two or three weeks.

It does, however, have one major disadvantage…

… early in the year the whole shrub emits a rather unpleasant scent!

Fortunately the scent fades after it has flowered…

Traces of the past:

This shrub was first introduced to gardens for cultivation by David Douglas, an intrepid Scottish botanist, who traveled thousands of kilometres while searching for new plants. On his travels Douglas climbed snow-covered mountains, crossed rapids, survived desert-like prairies, and clashed with native Americans. But he finally met a tragic end when in Hawaii; he fell into a deep pit and was killed by a wild animal…