Just Fresh and Like That

This is the best time to view the garden – just as the peonies and dogwood are coming into bloom, when the ostrich ferns are still at their pristine chartreuse stage, and as the mulch-laden ground forms a uniform backdrop to all the fresh growth. Soon, things will fill in and eliminate some of that spatial openness that I’ve come to appreciate more as I get older. Leaves will turn darker and more leathery. The blush will fade from the rose, literally and figuratively.

For now, though, I sit back and stretch the thigh muscles I’d forgotten I had, after spreading fifteen bags of manure and mulch. Surveying the garden, I take a rare moment to enjoy the present. After some cajoling, Andy has made a pitcher of iced tea. The sun is bright, a rarity this spring, and I’m hot from all the digging. I sip the cool liquid and take it all in. The rain begins a little later, but I’m mostly done with the tasks I set for myself. A small stand of hosta has been planted. A lace-cap hydrangea has been moved. The ostrich ferns have been thinned out.

The falling drops eventually force me inside, but not before I make more plans. A volunteer sedum has taken off in a spot outside the fence, and it’s doing so well I want to transplant it to a more fitting location. Good performance is always rewarded here. I make a mental note to find a better spot for it. The bamboo in the side yard is also doing quite well – it’s the running kind so I put it in the harshest section of our ground, where it sends up a dozen or so new stalks every year. The winters here keep it in check, but I’m still reluctant to have it in the garden or remotely near the pool. Maybe I’ll just throw some manure on it where it is and call it a day. Something still needs to be done with the climbing hydrangea, but it’s to pretty to touch right now, and just coming into bloom. Another mental pin until the beauty passes.

Even in the rain, it’s good to be in the garden.

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