Monday, April 23, 2012

April Climax

The greening of April, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I am scratching a compost and peat moss mixture into the planting bed between the spokes in my wheel of brick pathways when everything falls into place, clicks, and suddenly the Zone of Flowering April is established. Blossoms that were not there a day before are here today. I am sitting on the ground, my favorite position for gardening. The lamium (also called dead nettle) are poking their strong pink blossoms about six inches off the ground, and the dark purple Labrador violets have suddenly wakened for contrast. They grow up between the spreading gray-leaves of the Artemisia, which stretch out this time of year like courtiers adjusting their wigs. The Artemisia will soon grow tall and make a pest of itself, but right now it’s a perfect complement. Some other new showings today. Where was the mazus, a ground-hugging steppable with light violet blossoms Friday? I was out here that afternoon, enjoying the bright sun and the smell of sea in the air while digging away at our vegetable garden patch. Today the little carpet of mazus has appeared by magic beneath our veet. A couple of poppy-orange blossoms have also opened today from a plant whose origins I can never place. The blue forget-me-nots began last week, but they blossom exponentially for a few days at this time of year, and these are those few days. Their sky blue parade of blossoms lines the sine curve path through the center of things in the perennial garden, putting their stamp on the season. You can’t forget them, a friend told me a few years ago when she gave me some of these plants, because they come back every year and remind you.