Follow through

CrocusSpring (I mean late winter) is the ultimate reminder to follow through on promises. I’m not much good at that. I’m happy to start something – like a half a dozen drafts of blog posts – but not so good at following through (half a dozen drafts unfinished). Nature always fulfills her promise though even if it looks like there’s no rainy-way she’ll be able to. And every once in a while even I have it in me to keep my word. I’ve been promising for years to go back and visit friends and family in Seattle and my chosen flight flies Thursday – with me on it.

dogwood budsIn the garden, as per usual, I am also making promises. While I’m away Z will get busy installing a window in the shed (he has no problem with follow through). And that of course means that this year, as soon as I’m back, I have no excuse not to follow through and paint it. I intend to hold me to it. And I’m saying it out loud – again – in hopes that another public declaration will fortify my typically shaky resolve.

my goofy byline I have also recently made a commitment to write a column – bi-monthly at least – for a local weekly. Which is cool but so far, harder to follow through with than I thought it would be. (You guys are much easier to write to. – why is that? ) And meanwhile, perversely, I’m finding it the most difficult to keep my promise to this blog. So in honor of spring’s promise I’m renewing mine. Whether or not I actually follow through.

Asleep on the couch

streetside tulips, etcorphan tulip and some kind of Rubus that wants to take overThis is a tough time of year for me. For any gardener, I’m sure. But maybe especially for any impatient gardener, which is what I am. I want spring to last and last so that I can squeeze every last gush of adorable out of all the baby growth but I want my garden to already be a grownup. Right now. And so every day, after mentally stressing over plant placement, digging scads of holes and planting at work, I come home and do the same thing – only on a much smaller scale. And promptly after planting sweet peas at dusk, or finding just the right place for a new Tiger Eye sumac and last year’s nine bark, which was in the wrong place – and digging three holes that feel more like 10 work ones – I can’t help but fall asleep on the couch. I don’t go out to parties. I don’t sit at the computer. I don’t sweep the floor or bring in vases of daffodils or tulips. I rise only to eat, watch 1/3 of a movie or get ready for bed at an absurdly early hour.

mint on the marchAnd I do wrong things in my attempt to have an insta-garden. I plant aggressive things like butterbur, plume poppy, autumn olive (at least it’s a sterile form), and even mint. In the ground. Nobody plants mint in the ground! And I plant them in wrong places. demur looking plume poppy (on the right side) before it grows 8' tall.The mint found the foundation crack that leads directly into the kitchen – perhaps it’s headed for a mojito. I can tell you, since it grew into the path, that it makes a brilliantly fragrant steppable… But then plume poppy should not be planted anywhere near a walkway let alone within 2 feet of one – it just shouldn’t! And I know it without having to make the mistake first. Even to move it now will cause havoc, chaos and exponential spread. But in pursuit of lush, there it is. And there it may remain because now I’m asleep on the couch.

Do you do wrong things on purpose too? Are you more patient than I? Are you more awake?


Spring is happening so quickly now – all of a sudden in the middle of a downpour – that I’m afraid if I blink I’ll miss it.  On Friday the grass was still brownish.  By Sunday, emerald green.  I meant to post these pictures last week and procrastinated, thinking, “There’s time… spring hasn’t really sproinged yet… I’ll do it tomorrow.”  And tomorrow. And tomorrow…  So without further ado and before more spring has made its jail break, here’s old news:  The first open daffs in Bristol – blooming in captivity.abandoned daffs bloom first

A suburban snake out of hiding for a sunbask on our wall.

I know where you live

Epimediums getting dressed for the party.

embryonic epimediums

I think part of what I love about spring is that it comes out against all odds.  It seems so delicate yet it’ll bust right through pavement.

I think I prefer unintentional accidental to carefully planned.

Is spring busting out all of a sudden in your garden too – or have I missed it?

The fleet

On our walk this afternoon, Nino and I watched the first sailing lesson/race of the season in the harbor.  He nudged me and said, “Check it out, sails look like crocuses. Crocuses look like sails.”  Which reminded me: This little flotilla appeared the other day by our front backdoor as if they had been blown there by a favorable wind.Spring surprise!

Spring has arrived at Champignon!