Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring Came While I was Busy Working

In the past ten days things have changed in the garden. I hardly know the place.

Planted these anemones - Anemene ciribarua 'Lord Lieutenant' last year and only two or fifteen came up, but they are both back this year and much bigger. There is hope.

A native honeysuckle. I love the color! it grows over a piece of lattice and used to hide the trash cans. It's big enough and thick enough that some years we have a bird's nest in it. Nothing so far this year, but there's still time.

An early azalea that is nearly open (left) and a lungwort (right) - Pulmonaria cevennensis . The latter came from Andre Viette two years ago. It struggled last year and has never bloomed before, but this year popped up early and has been in bloom for two weeks. Don't know if it's because of all the rain, or if it just finally got old enough but either way, it's lovely.

Not actually mine. This lovely lilac is my neighbor's and lives on the lot line. It smells heavenly and is just gorgeous! I look forward to it's blooming every spring.

Fothergilla gardenii 'Mt. Airy'. A lovely foundation shrub. It was scraggly last year, but came back full and pretty this year, like just about everything else in the yard. I hate to think that it was all the extra rain that resulted in the beautiful flowers we are having this year.

And Carolina jasmine. This is one of Mitchell's favorites. We have it growing on a big trellis supported by the house, so it looks like a shrub, when it is actually a vine. Unfortunately, he decided that it needed to be cut back - he was right - so he did it in February when we trimmed some of the shrubs - that was wrong. He cut off more than half of the buds, but it is still blooming and pretty - and much smaller than last year.

A gorgeous spring day in central Virginia. Wish you were here, too.

New Mown Grass

One of my memories from college that reappears at odd times is of the first time I spent the weekend with my (then) boyfriend's parents. We drove from Virginia to Trenton, New Jersey on a Friday and stayed a few days.

On Saturday morning after giving his mother a raft of grief, he cut their very large yard. This was in the days before riding mowers for the home and they must have had an acre or more, so it was quite a job. He stripped to shorts and, shirtless, attacked the job. Since this is my memory, we will give him swimmer's abs and a slight tan. By the time he finished he was soaked with sweat and smelled like a working men do, but the lawn was gorgeous.

Driving home I asked why he had given his mother such a hard time about doing it. " It's all a game," he told me. "I don't mind a bit, never have, but Dad hates to do it, so I pretend to hate it, too. That way they think that they've won something. I actually enjoy doing it, and it looks so good when I am done."

I think that's why I have this memory. Walking mindlessly behind the mower, following the line between cleanly, newly mowed and wildly overgrown, I love the way it falls into place - nice and neat. But most of all, when it's all done to look across it all and watch the wind ripple it.

When our hero finished mowing he had an ice cold beer. I chose a glass of wine on the deck. Well, if you've paid any attention you know that the east coast is three inches deep in pollen right now, so I really didn't sit on the deck to drink it. I hid inside away from the breeze, thankful for the protection from the pollen.

But that in no way diminished my appreciation of the newly cut yard. An hour outside on a warm afternoon, with a necessary job completed - what more could a girl ask? Ah, spring!

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth. As usual your card will be late! I still love you.