Even in this cold, cold spring, bulbs burst through soil, twisting and shouting, happy, oblivious. It might as well be warm.
Likes and dislikes separate gardeners everywhere; plants one person grows are never guaranteed to please the next steward of a garden. Last May, I left my acre of gardens in East Haddam, Connecticut, after 12 years of building the spaces. I knew some of my carefully planted, tended and loved trees, shrubs, bulbs, perennials and mosses might pass new owners' muster and some might get ripped out. Maybe the whole garden.
No matter; I had sold it all. As I had done previously in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and McCaysville, Georgia. Leaving those gardens meant leaving my emotional investment in them – while at the same time holding on to the memories. I've never gone back to a garden I've built and left. At least, not physically.
I thought of all this as I discovered what the previous owners had planted and left here in Marietta, Georgia. First came crocus, near the driveway, with slivered leaves, blooms purple or gold, some buried up to their heads in oak leaves and pine straw.
|Crocus, leading parade of early spring flowers.|
Daffodils came next, popping up in the front garden, first on the sunnier side, then later on the side less sunny. Like crocus, daffodils came not in great swaths, but in random little patches of two, three, two, four, the way nature might distribute them.
Pale lemony-to-white, these trumpeters of spring put on happy faces while all about them may be dreary, unpromising.
Knowing these flowers would bring at least as much cheer to the indoors as they do whenever I walk past them outside, I cut a few and placed them in single flower displays, for the eye as well as
for the nose. This one, in a stone kenzan, sits on a round black leather ottoman in the media center.
As the weather moves slowly, steadily toward feeling like spring, warmth that cannot be denied pulls up more remnants of owners past. On the side of the house, near the door to my writing room, several white-blooming pieris seemingly suddenly burst into white necklaces.
Seeing them bloom made me glad I had the good sense to let the shrubs be. And seeing more leaves pushing up around them made me doubly glad. Tulips? What kind? What color? Not tulips?
They're a mystery. And like the daffodils, they are a surprise. And a thing of beauty.