I am so distracted these days, and spring is to blame. There’s the smell of freshness on the breeze, the chirps and calls of birds in the morning, and the daily display of fifty shades of green. All I want to do is work in the yard: clean the beds, rake the lawn, bring out the terracotta pottery, inhale deeply — but I do have a day job that demands much of my time and a post to write.
Writing, though, is near impossible. Spring stimulates all of my senses, and each time I step outside, I am overwhelmed with words, feelings, and adjectives. Rather than write them down, they swirl inside my head as I become lost in the intoxicating world that is spring.
And so, I surrender to those who have already placed their words on paper, words that illustrate the beauty of the gardener’s most magical season.
What to do? It’s an early January day, one of those odd ones that’s wedged between cold fronts. On Long Island, that means it sort of feels like March, and there is an urge to bundle up and start spring cleaning — while the inner voice says, “Don’t be too quick. This is just a winter lull, and there will be icy temperatures at any moment.”
As if to serve as a reminder, there are the remnants of last night’s flurries (above) and autumn leaves encased in ice on top of the pool cover (below).
Before I get into this post, I wanted to send out a special thanks to those of you who took the time to add a caption to the previous post. Your creativity and humor were wonderful treats after I arrived home and logged in to catch up on blog duty. I’m still smiling and LOL-ing!
I’m not a fan of the Western. I have always found the film genre too gritty, too violent, and too filled with underhanded, unsavory characters. I like comedy, drama, melodrama, a soundtrack, and always a happy ending.
But when Joe and I arrived home at 3:00 a.m. after a marathon drive from Fort Lauderdale, we entered the house as if we were a couple of sun-baked cattle rustlers in our own Western. Unshaven. Sweaty. Delirious. Exhausted. Even our mouths were tired as we spoke to on another with jaws that were just shy of clenched. Ironically, our newly repaired covered wagon — I mean the car — was in better shape than we were! Any thoughts or worries about my garden would have to wait until daylight — or at least until I was prepared to see daylight.
The forecasters, however, had other ideas about daylight. It seems that the next few days would be filled with heavy thunderstorms, strong winds, and possible hail. What’s a gardener in search of a happy ending to do?
This post first appeared nearly a year ago, and since I am somewhere on a highway on my way to a vacation and faraway from any Internet service , I thought it was quite appropriate to revisit the anxiety that I feel when I have to leave my garden in someone else’s hands. For longtime readers, I apologize for this repeat broadcast; for new readers, I hope you enjoy.
I have done what every therapist and doctor advises people not to do. I have self-diagnosed, but let me first explain.
It’s summertime, and Joe and I are going on vacation for a few days. It’s a chance to relax, to get away from everything, to reconnect, to breathe. In actuality, though, the days leading up to departure mean a growing sense of unease and worry. I become consumed with obsessive thoughts, anxiety, and stress — and none of it comes from the what-to-pack, what-not-to-pack scenario, nor from the airport pat-down, nor from who will mind the dog and the cat, nor from the last-second question, “Did I remember to take my trusted Swiss army knife out of my carry-on?” No. For me, the physical-emotional symptoms stem from leaving my garden and entrusting its care to someone other than myself. I am now calling these symptoms Garden Separation Anxiety Disorder, also known as G-SAD, as in, “Gee, That’s sad.”
It seems that quite suddenly, summer has brought the entire world into bloom — and that means hosting a whole bunch of guests to a bloomin’ banquet. There’s plenty to eat and drink — so, bring a chair, sit back, and relax.
First up: butterflies. I’m not sure what type of butterfly this is, but the garden is full of them. They really don’t socialize with the other guests, and can often be found in pairs, fluttering about in mid-air and playing among the lavender.
I read somewhere – and I apologize to whoever said it because I cannot credit you – it’s a shame that so many gardeners keep their gardens locked up in their backyards. How nice it would be if the garden could be in the front yard for everyone and anyone to enjoy as they walk by.
That was my thought as Joe and I walked around the neighborhood on this first day of summer, strolling by our neighbors’ homes to get a peek and to be inspired by what was blooming. This is what we found.
To start the walk, we had to pass our Lace Cap Hydrangea. The flowers remind me of speckled Easter eggs.
This would be a close-up of the “lace” in the Lace Cap.
Across the street, we spotted a small bouquet of Dianthus.
Just up the street, another neighbor had Daylilies blooming everywhere.
Another neighbor had cluster upon cluster of Roses spilling over a rock retaining wall.
I couldn’t resist a closer look at the ruffled petals.
This Daylily seemed to scream, “Look into my eye.” So I did.
Around the corner, there were beds of Astilbe in full bloom.
Up close, the pink clouds reminded me of cotton candy.
Around another corner, we discovered a bed of Yarrow growing around a curbside mailbox.
Imagine our surprise when we spotted a bed of Cactus — in flower — a few houses away. The owner, Helen, came running out and offered us a clipping, and then showed us the rest of her front yard garden. We made a promise to return again for a tour of the backyard — a new neighborly friend.
When we returned home, there was time to stop and smell the Lavender.
It’s Father’s Day weekend here in the States, and I have daddy issues. You see, I do not have children of my own, so fatherhood and this holiday are like an exclusive country club from which I have been barred. This doesn’t go to say that I don’t know what it’s like to care for and nurture something, because I do. It’s just that my children aren’t – well, they’re not human.