One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."


“It’s spring fever…You don’t quite know what it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”

Mark Twain, 18351910


Yes, Spring is exploding all around me.   Above are the cherry blossoms in the tree outside my office.   To the left are a trio of tiny species tulips, the bounty of that mysterious little clump of foliage I spotted growing in the lawn at home last week.   Everywhere you look, the Spectacle of Spring is well underway.

This is when the faith of the cold dark winter is rewarded.  Against all odds and frigid temperatures, these delicate bulbs and roots and tubers come back to life and begin the show which is familiar and often predictable, and yet somehow completely new every single year.

All these little miracles happening all around us and  in the midst of it, there’s me, feeling incongruously depressed like Charlie Brown at Christmas.  Probably some of it was that sinus infection, slow to depart and still fond of inflicting headaches.    Maybe a little of it was borne of realizing I’d brought frosty doom to my early morning glories and the two heliotropes I wintered over from last year.  Some more of it resulted from a recent “drive-by sniping” from the Ex that I swore I wouldn’t let bother me (that didn’t go exactly according to plan, not mine, anyway…), which of course reminded me of the good decision I made on that front last summer, but also ended up causing me to review too many things in my head and think too hard about all of them in the process.

We are all, I suppose, our biggest critics, and for a day or two longer than I ought to have, I made me listen to what I had to say about myself.  There was a super-long walk Friday evening, which was good and healthy and enjoyable, but which also felt like I was trying to walk away from things as opposed to just walking in the world.   And in the midst of that, there was an argument with my stupid MP3 player, which decided the song I wanted to hear repeated over and over again on that walk was “Isn’t It Romantic?”.

Umm, not so much, really.  No.

“Almost all of our sorrows spring out of our relations with other people.”

Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788 – 1860


Naturally, with so much beauty all around, it’s not enough to feel depressed.  One must compound all that with feelings of guilt for feeling this way when there’s obviously so much around me to be happy for and grateful about.    I mean, come on, SO many people have it worse than me.   Seriously.  I’m glad to assure you I’m not feeling much of that anymore.   Lots of good journaling saw to most of it, helped me find the perspective I need.

But through it all, my camera’s memory card is just getting fuller and fuller with pictures I may never get the chance to share with you if I don’t start soon…and so to jump start my creativity, I googled “Spring” for some interesting quotations, and found the appropos assortment you’ll find here, like this gem from comedian Robin Williams:

Spring is nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s Party!!'”






“Every year, back comes spring with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants.”

Dorothy Parker, 1893 – 1967


I have to say as the weather steadily improved this past week, so did my mood.   The cherry tree outside the windows of the Nest has exploded into bloom, glorious bloom and there’s a never-ending supply of tweeters (of the non-internetal variety) to keep us entertained.   My Purry Pal has been great company and really does a great job of keeping me from staying in those shallow pits for too long with his assorted antics.

the-little-slavePerhaps it was a symptom of my troubled mind, but this past weekend I did attempt to screw with the Natural Way of Things, by putting a harness on a cat.

“We” have talked a few times these past six months or so about introducing some different ways of exploring the world to my gray buddy, who often seems overwhelmed on his brief sojourns out of doors…and anyway wouldn’t be safe out there in Coyoteland on his own.  So on Saturday, I picked up a harness for him to try.   Remembering from our Halloween painting misadventures what a nice color purple is on him, I was extra pleased to find a harness/leash combo in that color range.

Typically, he sat patiently on my lap – good kitty that he is – as I fit the harness on him (expanding it to its largest size).   He jumped down to the floor and sat for a moment.  I added the leash, to see how he might react, thinking perhaps we’d just walk around the apartment a little to get him comfortable with the idea.   He took a few tentative, short-legged steps, sarcastically hummed a couple bars of Tchaikovsky’s March Slav and dropped over on his side, the big drama queen.

disdain-and-directionsWe consulted the directions and confirmed that the harness was properly arranged.   Fortunately, we had no plans for the afternoon except some quality time together and so we played around the Nest for a while, as Badum grew accustomed to the harness (he’s not much of a clotheshorse, not even a collar-wearer, actually) and discovered that he could in fact still do all the things he’s fond of, like stalking birdies, and chasing laser lights and jumping up and down off things and eating stuff.

I see no reason to rush my pal with this new experiment.   I appreciate both that he was agreeable to trying it for the afternoon and that he’s seemingly not holding a grudge with me about it now, since he really is the snuggliest best-pal I’ve ever known.  We’ll try again on our next day off and see how it goes and maybe by summer’s end we’ll be exploring the yard.


And speaking of the yard, check out this absolutely fabulous first tulip blooming in the garden.  Isn’t it grand?   I really hadn’t remembered the color array that I’d chosen back in October, though I bet I have photos of the packages on the blog somewhere back there.

red-tulip-comingRather than look back through the archives, it’s been more fun to let myself be surprised by what appears, and that’s been exactly the case, since I had no memory of there being such variety.  In addition to the peachy orange, there’s also this nice strong red, a couple of pinks and some purple tulips all on the way.   With the pansies beginning to spread out into little clumps and flower more, there really is a party getting underway out there.

And while we’re distracted by those guys, I note that the mums are ready to be pinched back again and the mound of heliotrope gets bushier and taller every day.  There are spearheads of globe allium rising up toward the sky, a good five inches tall now.  And a very close examination along the outermost edges of the garden bed reveals the tiniest green seedlings of allyssum.

allyssumMeanwhile, upstairs in the Nest, by weekend’s conclusion, there was a full seed greenhouse full of zinnia seedlings well-sprouted and just this morning, the first lupine seedling has appeared.  There is reason to hope.  : )

Just in case I had any lingering ideas about being needlessly sad, the Garden has come around to talk me out of them.


“No kind action ever stops with itself.  One kind action leads to another.  Good example is followed.  A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions and the roots spring up and make new trees.   The greatest work that kindess does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.”

Amelia Earhart, 1897 – 1939


Comments on: "Spring Cleaning: April Odds and Ends" (8)

  1. Salina Inzaghi said:

    u’re so lucky that your furry friend there doesnt complain about the harness…mine would’ve chewed the thing off!

  2. Sorry you’ve been a bit blue recently, though from the sound of it you’ve found your way back with a spring in your step. :)

    I love the Dorothy Parker quote. She puts a new perspective on spring.

    Badam is adorable, as usual. I think the purple sets off his gorgeous gray coat very well. And what a drama queen!

  3. It’s courageous you share also the annoying parts of your life here at this place (it was not completely unexpected I must confess, but I did not want to make a nuisance of myself). And I’m glad too you’re “not feeling much of that anymore”. Now in your exploding spring, I’m expecting a lot of more gorgeous pictures and some gardening wisdom. Take care.

  4. Badum kills me. Even just the Oscar Wilde pose with the plant cracks me up, but the harness shot is priceless. I’ve seen plenty of dogs pull the drama queen routine, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a cat do it before. Glad to know that his more typical easy-going nature and cheerful spirits kicked in, and that he continues to rub off on you. I’m sorry you’ve been low of late, but it sounds like you’ve been taking care of yourself in all the best ways. Frankly I think sometimes a walk ‘away from things’ is just the ticket. You’re too attuned to the world around you for that to last.
    Dorothy Parker remains one of my heroes.

  5. I have always loved Dorothy Parker’s wit.

    Those tiny tulips are really beautiful. Oh, no . . . the power to the house just went off. Thank goodness for APS units, it keeps the computers from crashing.

    Butch, you can see the blog again!! Yay! Sorry to hear about your power – hope it was a temporary condition. Is your weather the culprit??

  6. Some cats seem to take to walks and others don’t. We’ve had many cats and two have even taken to going camping with us. Unbelievably, they would hang out with us camping during the day, but come night time we would have to leash them or they’d be off hunting something and probably be hunted themselves.

  7. What great photos you’ve taken. I love your beautiful grey cat. He’s a good sport and a wonderful friend. Your description of his first experience with a harness made me laugh out loud. That was very well written. >^~,~^<

    So glad to have ‘discovered’ your blog. I’ve added your link to my site.


  8. adkchrisshaw said:

    Great entry! It did beg the question of what Parker’s quote might be concerning putting a cat in a purple harness though,…the punch lines seem endless here!

    I shudder to think what she’d come up with, but I’m sure the result would be amusing, at the very least.

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