April Garden

Here’s what’s blooming in my garden right now…

“Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

“Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven –
All’s right with the world!

-Robert Browning

Well-apparell’d April on the heel
Of limping winter treads…

-William Shakespeare

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

“I hear a thousand nightingales. Spring hath sent them to awaken Earth from her morning slumber, and Earth trembles with ecstasy, her flowers are hymns, which she sings in inspiration to the sun… “– Heinrich Heine

Hope is blooming

Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom

from “A Blessing” by James Wright

Right now I’m going to just ignore those weather forecasts which call for snow on Wednesday and then for some more at the beginning of next week. Today I walked around in shorts and my pasty white legs saw the light of day for the first time in months. Today in a moment of foolhardy optimism, I moved all my citrus trees out of the garage and into the yard to soak up the sun. And today I joyfully observed and recorded the first signs of spring:

Queen Anne’s Lace

This is my “garden” at this time of the year:

The Weedaretum in all its glory.

The Weed-oretum in all its glory.

Clearly, I have long surrendered to the malevolent forces of summer in Virginia.

My kids always ask me why there aren’t any flowers in my garden in the summer. Here’s my answer:

This. This is what happens when you venture outdoors in mid-July in Virginia.

Why put yourself through the misery of being poached alive in the heavy, sticky, humid air when instead you can swan around enjoying landscapes from the the air-conditioned comfort of your very own chariot of fire?

My sweet pimped out ride. See that Albemarle County Schools magnet on the gas cap? Custom, Baby.

My sweet pimped out ride. See that Albemarle County Schools magnet on the gas cap? Custom, Baby. I’m thinking about having flames painted along the sides next…

This is the best time of the year to enjoy the weedy splendor of roadside displays espied from my car windows. My favorite? Queen Anne’s Lace – the essence of summer.

Even better in combination with its constant companion, the cornflower:

Bad picture...Didn't want to get out of the car to take it!

Bad picture…Didn’t want to get out of the car to take it!

Strewn by the invisible, artful hand of a master gardener, these lovely weeds are all the flowers I need to get me through the summer.

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Garden Party

I’m an indoorsy kind of person, except for in the spring months. Here in Virginia, the mosquitoes will soon be out for blood, it will be oppressively hot and humid, and I’ll retreat to my natural habitat: the Great Air-Conditioned Indoors. But springtime in Virginia is so rapturously beautiful, that I am irresistibly drawn outside. It’s a spectacular party that goes on for weeks, where I keep running into old friends that I haven’t seen in ages.

Even the uninvited guests are charming in their own way…

…sort of.

It’s been a difficult week…May we all find peace and solace in nature.
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
William Shakespeare, As You Like It
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