We are at the point in spring where the landscape one sees at dawn is different than the one sees at nightfall. Case in point – last Saturday afternoon, Pat & I plopped down in the front yard waiting for Edie to get ready for her soccer game. We noticed the tulips had sent up buds and wondered when they might open. After soccer, we plopped down in the exact same spot and noticed the tulips had opened up. Just like that, while we weren’t looking that afternoon.
The tulip magnolia’s glory has faded, passing the torch of being the big pink blooming tree on the corner to the old dogwood, which opened up this week.
The cherry tree exploded in blossoms – the birds will eat well again this year as there is no way I’m going to be able to get to the top to pick that tree. Still, I should get another good haul this year from the portion I can reach. The front yard is a riot of color from falling magnolia petals, blooming violets and dandelions as well as the three different types of grasses we have out there in their various forms of coming back to life. Landscaping guys like to knock on our door and offer to ‘fix’ the problem of some of our grass being some undesirable type. It’s green, it grows, I don’t see the problem. Then again, I leave dandelions because they’re green. I truly am a lazy gardener.
Monday morning, the lily of the valley popped up and this week’s rain had them unfurling and showing little buds by this morning. The Virginia Bluebells have been glorious – and I’m so pleased they bloomed this year. Gardening requires patience, which is one of those over-rated so called virtues I seem to lack. However, when you plant things like Virginia Bluebells that take a few years to get established before blooming, you attempt to develop patience.
By far, my biggest lesson in garden patience has been in my lilac bush. I have always wanted a lilac – if it’s a plant that belongs in an old lady garden like peonies, roses or lilacs, then yes, I want them in mine. Only our large, lovely lot is far too shady for most of these, so I tend to move them around, trying to find the optimal spot for them, which does the plant no favors. That’s the story with this lilac, which I thought I had killed at one point. I finally left it in a spot, cleared around it and left it alone for a few years. Last year it had new growth and this year I discovered this:
In addition to seeing what’s coming back and what’s blooming, this is the time to dig up perennial beds and thin them. It was with a little bit of horror when I finally raked last fall’s leaves off my daisy patch that I realized they displayed the telling sign of a flower bed in desperate need of attention by the center being absolutely dead. Having written a piece for HOME on this exact subject recently (currently featured in the Roanoke and Lynchburg Editions), I was felt like the worst gardener in the world and certainly a lousy garden writer. So I spent Monday digging up the entire patch, thinning them and sharing what I pulled out. The hostas are up for the same treatment next.
Everywhere you look, there are little pops of color. Standing in the kitchen the other night, Pat looked out the window and remarked that the current view, with the white dogwoods blooming just outside the window, with Brian’s redbud in the distance, is perhaps his favorite of the entire year. I’m still trying to capture it with my camera, but he’s definitely right. Off all the scenes out my kitchen window, the early spring with so many shades of green, the white dogwood blooms floating like clouds and the redbuds in bloom in the distance is definitely the best.
Although I do like to just go stand down in the road and take these lovelies in too.
And just now I looked out the front door and saw the first bloom on the azaleas coming down the front walk.
The colors of spring are most definitely worth all the allergies they bring us.