Summer flowers, strong and vibrant, red and orange in the yard. The poppies I planted many years ago and manage to reseed themselves in the rose bed every year. I let them grow wild, scraggly, and tall, flaming dark red, black center, rounded petals flutter in the breeze. The jewel weed is a tall, branchy, light green succulent weed that grows everywhere. This year I let it stay in the flower beds, its orange and yellow delicate tubular flowers showing off in the sunshine. The day lily bulbs are planted in a semi-circle around a culvert. They grow and spread every year all on their own. Brilliant orange with red and dark orange stripes, bright yellow with pale orange stripes, pale pink, dark red with yellow stripes, and soft peach colored blooms on long stalks, swaying in the gentle summer air, heavy with humidity and floral perfume. I am content to walk around and exist with all the summer flowers.
The rhododendron is in full bloom. I have several bushes in the yard with various colors of flowers. When in bloom, the whole bush is like one big blossom. I love burying my face in the flower bunches and smelling the delicate floral scent. With all the rain it has been a good year for insects. I stood for a long time at each rhododendron bush and watched all the bumblebees and butterflies and other insects fly around and drink nectar from each flower. You can stand quite close and the bees will leave you alone as long as you don’t threaten them. The buzzing was amazing. Almost every flower has something crawling around in it carrying pollen on its legs, and hopping from flower to flower. It is fascinating to watch this insect behavior up close and personal. They are busy with the flowers these bees and butterflies!
The long awaited, greatly anticipated lilac bud have bloomed! I have watched them grown from the faintest hint of purple on the end of the stems to sweet scented, six inch tall cones of tiny lavender flowers. The blooming itself is a slow meticulous process, starting at the bottom and working its way up the cone, each bunch on its own timetable. The smell is intoxicating as it drifts on the warm breeze. I want to bring some inside, but as with all flowers, wild or cultivated, I don’t want to kill them just for my personal enjoyment. The cats would never let them be anyway. There would be water and small purple flowers all over the house! I’ve waited several years for this event; it was worth it! Only two of the six trees are blooming, so I hope that next year the others will get the message too! Spring is really here!
Walking up the road, I am enchanted by the apple blossoms. There are trees blooming that I never knew were apple trees. The trees hold their pink and white flowers in bunches like bridal bouquets. Branches are covered with sweet smelling beauty. I stop at every tree and gawk at its offering to the insects. A smorgasbord of delectable nectar! I want to bury my face into the branches and inhale the scent of the Goddess of Spring!
Every Spring I do spring cleaning in the yard. I do all the yard work and landscaping. My husband is happy to let me do it all because he doesn’t enjoy being outside in the heat and sun or getting muddy and bug bit. On nice days, I often will rush outside before doing anything else and then later will balk at coming inside when it gets dark. In the fall I leave everything be, all the leaves that die back stay as “mulch” until spring. I don’t even cut the grass one last time so that it has enough energy to sleep through the winter. This morning wasn’t particularly sunny or warm, but its supposed to rain the rest of the week and its not raining right now. I went to work cleaning out all the flower planters in the yard I have built over the years. Pruning last years wild growth on the bushes, pulling weeds that survived the winter, picking up all last years dead left overs, raking leaves, fluffing mulch (not buying any this year), more digging in the dirt, and examining all the little signs that plants will be green and growing soon! Several hours later a cold yet gentle rain starts to fall, so I pack the gardening tools and head inside. Looking around the yard, I see all the flower beds cleaned out and waking up. OK, Spring, we’re ready!
Many years ago, while spreading compost in the garden I found three peach or nectarine seeds that had split open and sprouted. Stone fruit isn’t really supposed to propagate from its seeds. Trees are supposed to be grafted (a process I don’t particularly understand) to make more trees. I carefully transplanted the seedlings into plant pots and decided to see what happened. One got eaten by a chipmunk so I covered the others to protect them and kept them in plant pots for two years until they seemed big enough to plant on their own. Now, years later, the two trees are several feet taller than me and seem happy in their home out next to the garden. They leaf out in the spring, grow a little more every summer, and hibernate each winter. This spring was the same, tiny light yellow green slender leaves emerged from all the leaf buds, growing vigorously. This spring however, the tender new leaves have companions. There are small rounded pink flower buds getting ready to open. YEY! I didn’t think they would ever flower because they grew from seeds. Even if the trees don’t fruit, the blossoms will be worth the wait!
When I got home from the Adirondacks yesterday evening, the first thing I noticed when stepping out of the car was a single daffodil bud ready to pop. I told “You will be the first daffodil of the season in this yard. Tomorrow you will bloom!” Looking around the other daffodils, there are plenty of buds to make plenty of flowers, but none quite as ready as this one. I inwardly hope we don’t get a late frost like last year that killed all the daffodil buds before they had a chance to bloom. This morning, I stepped outside to check on the first daffodil. There it was, open to the sky, bright yellow, frilly, and singing good morning to all of creation!