Sunday, April 11, 2010

Perfect Days



We had beautiful, unusually mild Easter weekend weather. Mild, room-temperature weather continued Monday and Tuesday with a prediction of eighty degrees tomorrow. Suddenly, though it won’t last – it can’t: that’s the definition of April – we’re in the Other Place. You wake up in full sunlight, you get out of bed without turning the heat up, you look out the window right away. You find some reason why you have to go out of doors before breakfast; possibly before anything.
The Other Place has its own routines in the garden. You step outside without looking at the thermometer first, without thinking what to wear, and you go not to get the paper but to see what news the earth has warmed up. You check to see if anything new is blooming. Or if the light is doing something different when it brings out the color of the scattering of bluets (little sky-blue bulb growers), which appear to have done some work spreading themselves around without much assistance from humankind. The grape hyacinth had grown shapelier and may even be preparing to open in some unpromising territory under the maple tree before too long.
The green spears of the day lilies – those woodsy New England leaves of grass – have grown greener, richer, more prosperous looking every day. They don’t bloom for months, but they begin to be a presence in March, long before many of the spring bloomers have any appearance.
So in the last few days, taking advantage of the weekend, we have undressed the garden of its brown winter wear – all those dried brown tree leaves which the garden wears like a shabby brown coat, worn out by the weather. The garden has been sleeping rough, under rags on a bench. The rags kept it warn. Now it wriggles out; stretches fingers and toes in the smiling air.
Tabulations: About a dozen to fifteen big brown leaf bags filled up and scattered around the yard, some lined up against the front porch, some stationed near collection areas in the back and side.
New blossoms: The weeping cherry tree bloomed full-white today. It was halfway there yesterday. You could see the blossoms, unopened, on the branches a few days before Thursday when I was looking at it with Anne’s parents. Stay a few more days, I said, and you’ll see it bloom.
A few more vinca flowers, looking purple along the blue granite flagstone walk.
A few bluets – that’s what I’m calling them; tiny bulbs making light blue flowers with thin, star-like petals, in the side yard.
A couple of photos: the cherry tree, the day lilies, the first round of purple vinca in front of the Adirondack chairs.