The gates of the garden have been flung open
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First, there is the renewed possibility of air-drying the laundry on the line, which gives the 100% cotton sheets and towels their very special fresh fragrance that is not an adman's slogan. Bunches of crocuses come out at the beginning of March. The robins stayed the winter. Tulips point through the old leaves. Cardinals and Jays return. The hummingbirds will be at the bee-balm soon.
We are happy to loan our bicycles for touring the park- your safety is up to you! Bring a helmet, please.
Then there's the renewed supply of flowers for the guests' bedsides - narcissus hypnotic, bustling tulips, soon the lilac nostalgic of Carl Sandburg's elegy for Lincoln, then- glorious highlight of my gardening pride- the roses. Regattas,fragrant salmon-colored, are my favorites for cutting, because they endure the winds and cold of our New England winters; Rosa Hugonis blooms early, bright yellow razzle-dazzle all along the stem and are my favorite for admiring in the garden.
The rhubarb is pushing out its big leaves- would you like my favorite recipe? Cut the stems in one-inch slices, simmer five minutes in just enough water to cover and add sugar or honey to taste- lots! Serve not too cold, with a dollop of sour cream, whole milk cream-on top yoghurt, or whipped skim milk, if you must.
No garden is complete without a swing and arch - why not have one? A vagrant wild grape will cover the arch or trellis abundantly.
Are you composting? No need to "turn" it - rot happens! We don't add meat, sugar or milk products because of the coons and possums, nor colored inks, since we want to use it for dressing edibles. We do add white and brown paper so it won't be too hot as it decomposes.
The downy woodpecker love my back yard decor, otherwise known as "Woodhenge" to the neighbors. A huge silver maple crashed into the back yard, and it being hollow ( complete with mouse nests inside) was sawed into trunk rounds that were laid down around the circle of sand where the above-ground pool had stood. Each year the hollow cores are filled with jolly annuals like nasturtium, marigolds, or daisies, but little by little small seedlings are growing up, and they will form a circle grove of trees there someday.
Weeds? I feel no hostility to any plant except to poison ivy/oak and to grass. Milweed invades, inviting the monarch butterflies, wafting its caramel scent.
The catalpa provides amazing symmetry, harmony, and shade. This year is the first for "stealth vegetable" borders along the front walk.
Beets and purple kale to enjoy fresh every day, while jolly snapdragons beguile the passers-by....New to the garden this year: dill, and horseradish regrown
from the Passover plates of friends. Pole beans, including the 2-foot long "Asparagus" bean, cucumbers, and zucchini are on the way, rejoining our favorites:
bush beans, butternut squash, eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, basil, sage and nasturtiums. Lavender and yarrow to soothe the restless mind.
The comfrey was brought here to dress our bruises and heal our pains, varicose veins and gums. Some plants are for visual effect only - but how dainty and useful are they! The baby's breath and money plant are most welcome repeat visitors to my garden and vases.
I'm happy standing in my garden hanging up laundry, knowing that nothing is doomed to die here- no birds are going belly up under the bushes, because of seed "treated" with herbicides and pesticides. The best fertilizer is the footstep of the gardener who walks around the garden each day. The plants will move around, too, finding the best place for them, but they will not leave. Enjoy!
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