Sunday, April 24, 2011

4.23 Waiting for Gardot




A not very good pun on Beckett’s famous play about the uncertainty of meaning in a world we never made.
I could also call this “waiting for April,” because I have a persistent notion that spring is about to burst into color this month, but April is running out of days. Was I mistaken? Or am I thinking of some other month?
I am still waiting for the orange flowers to pop open from the anonymous plant that looks like a miniature Lady’s Mantle, round omelet-sized leaves forming a mounded plant shape with protruding flower stems. Though I can’t pin a name on this early performer by searching the internet for photos, I have clear memory picture of the bright poppy-orange blossoms that provided a dramatic splash of color in the early weeks of spring.
Looking on the brighter side of things, the weeping cherry tree has opened like an overturned bowl of freshly exploded popcorn, the blossoms still tight and self-contained but offering a brilliant cool-weather focal point for this muted April. Last year the white cherry blossoms opened fast in much milder weather and probably faded faster as a result of the same warm temperatures. Today they get rain and forties. I get to stay indoors and contemplate the scene through the window.
In truth, some spots are shining up well beneath the cool, shady-day April rain. When the sun is damped down behind cloud cover, the world is under-lit by the bright green and multi-hued foliage sprouting from the earth. We have daffodils open to full bloom today out front. Not there yesterday, when the sky was mostly clear and a cool wind blew, but shining today like buttery little suns. They’re joined by a few early-showing red tulips, a scattering of blue star bulbs and some heavy-handed pink hyacinths that flop over unconventionally but show a bright pastel color. Other plants in the front garden are greening up as well – the row of sedums along the sidewalk strip, which don’t blossom till fall, have leafed out bright green. The strip is also brightened by pansy heads and a few bulbs, including a good thatch of deep-blue grape narcissus.
The really stunning difference between this and every other spring since we’ve been here is that I am still waiting for the semi-wild purple violets to blossom. They emerge from the cool earth late this year, and their flowers are still later. Starting from our first summer here six years ago I have transplanted them, and they have multiplied their holdings nearly everywhere throughout the garden. Their absence from our April bouquet makes me how much I rely on them for the deep purple that complements the new green.
We shall know thee by thy absence.