It’s been raining.
Pretty much since the day I got the mountain bike tuned up and out on the trail, it’s been raining. It rains a little, and then rains some more. In between that, we’ve had a few showers, with a bit of mist and fog thrown in for good measure. Every now and then, when one least expects it, it stops raining and the sun almost comes all the way out.
And it stays out just long enough to consider the idea of putting on shoes and grabbing the camera and/or hand trowel and heading out into the garden, or the big world beyond. And just when its starting to seem like that’s actually a great idea, it picks up raining all over again. Pouring, usually. It’s almost biblical.
Or it’s the polar ice cap coming home to roost. Something.
Sure. Blah blah blah, it’s good for the garden, yadda yadda yah, everything’s so nice and green. But ugh, color me stir crazy, and eager to get back out to some garden/yard type activities without becoming totally covered in mud. The grass is growing like crazy. And I thought I saw an alligator or something swimming in the driveway the other day.
Since I moved in last September, I’ve idly wondered what the tree outside the front door was. It’s an older tree, with a nice broad trunk, but it suffered storm damage a few years back and has lost all of it’s older upper limbs. Now there’s a hollow in the upper trunk that might serve someone or other as a nest and it sports a fuzzy crown of thinner branches and while I’d wondered after it’s genus and species, I hadn’t actually gotten around to asking.
And then last week I looked out the pantry window and saw…APPLE BLOSSOMS! Here’s a view of that treetop and the kitchen window, as seen out my bedroom window. From that same window, there’s also a pretty sweet view of my fence garden and it’s tulips and such in the yard below.
Here’s one of those times when the sun sort of came out. It’s a shame about all the rain and cloud cover this week, as it sounds as though there are plenty of interesting things going on beyond our view. In addition to the oncoming full moon, this week the sun resumed what looks to be a nice cycle of sunspot activity, after a fairly strong pause. The earth has also been passing through a band of meteor showers of debris from Haley’s Comet, which was supposed to have put on a somewhat lovely spring sky show in the pre-dawn hours these last couple of days.
But that’s just what I hear.
Despite the rains and the clouds and the cabin fever, it’s still been a good week. Foul weather always offers a good opportunity for some of those housekeeping things I can sometimes too easily overlook on the way out the door to the sunny garden. And there’s this snuggle-cat who’s always fond of extra attention when rain keeps me in, too.
Additionally, I’ve been enjoying some wonderful reading, alternating between May Sarton’s Plant Dreaming Deep and Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN series. In different ways, they are both satisfying a host of personal needs for me this spring, from enhancing recent reflections on homemaking and garden creating to revisiting flights of fantasy in the lands of Faerie and the Dreaming and other magical places…and in a few convergent moments, all of that at once.
Money plant is totally having its moment this week. Great drifts of the delightful purple stuff color every corner of the landscape it seems and it’s rich tones just glow on these dim, overcast days. I don’t know enough about this stuff yet. Anyone wanna chime in? Does it grow where you are? And where is that, anyway?
There is a similar flower blooming at this same time of year called Dames Rockets, which blooms in purple and white. But it’s been a few years since I’ve had the chance to see some up close and I’m not remembering what the differences are between the two.
In a sweet contrast, the pear trees are all blooming with sweet white flowers this week and they too pop out on these dismal and gray days. In fact, every where you look, it is the flowers that save us from the gloom and murk of this long rainy patch. Their colors definitely keep the days cheery.
Yet another variety – and the showiest – (though I can’t be more specific than that, sorry…) of the cherry trees have begun their show around town. It’s a particularly spectacular site, since so many of the local streets in town are lined with these froofy confections.
Despite the weather – or somehow in between bouts of the wet stuff – local road crews have been grinding and resurfacing assorted thoroughfares around town. While this has meant a few minor delays here and there and the hazards of deep bumps and ruts, in some places we are already enjoying new smooth and easy riding roadways, which help us get around to see all these bloomin’ trees.
On a trip to the Outer Cape this week for a medical check-up and a haircut, I visited one of my favorite nurseries out that way. They generally have some annuals which are just a smidge off-beat from what you can find in lots of other places, so I always like to pick up a little something there each year. Sadly, the Rains of Ranchipore were pummeling when I visited, so I only gave the besodden-ranks of annual sixpacks the most cursory glance as I dashed for the cover of the store, a place I have rarely explored properly on sunnier visits.
I was able to pick up some bulbs, as they had a nice supply of pretty reasonably priced Casa Blanca lilies – those oriental beauties in pure white that are scented of heaven – and also a dinner plate dahlia that caught my eye. I’ll refrain from telling you anything more about that just now, since the opportunities for suspense here at the garden blog are so few and far between. Now I just need a proper break in the rain to get out there and plant them.
“For every person who has ever lived there has come, at last, a spring he will never see.
Glory then in the springs that are yours. “
— Pam Brown