Thursday, April 1, 2010

More of Spring (and some Peachy Drama)

Because Spring happens fast, and you don't want to miss it!

This is Persian speedwell, sometimes called Bird's Eye. They're weeds. Each one is no bigger than your pinky nail, but a whole carpet of them is truly spectacular.

Hyacinths, in an in-your-face pink!

Bradford pears. A whole street full of them looks like snowfall. The "pears" are more like crabapples; they taste terrible, but the birds love them.

Star magnolias don't get nearly as big as the great magnolia trees of the South. They make me think of water lilies.

This is also a kind of magnolia called a tulip tree.

A flowering plum. In Japan these flower so early that they're often flowering in the snow. If you see a painted scroll with a gnarled, flowering tree covered in snow, it's either an almond or a plum -- not a cherry tree.

And speaking of flowering fruit trees...

Of course it wouldn't be Spring without a little Peach Drama. The tree was looking really good -- really good -- and then the temperature dropped. MP and I managed to get the plastic over it for a night, much as I did during last year's cold snap, but this time I am so glad MP was around. The tree has grown significantly, and there's no way I could have done it along. As it was, we had to attach another piece of plastic just to get the thing covered to the ground.

But... I can't tell how well it worked. The weather got so rainy and nasty, the tree stopped blooming. The flowers out now look kind of ratty and spent, but there are still buds waiting to pop. Did I lose many flowers? Did I hurt the tree? No clue until it sets peaches. I cannot imagine doing this for my livelihood -- the suspense would kill me.

I keep thinking of a quote or a line from something: "There's a madman in the garden murmuring bits of truth, but if you would hear him you must first get down on your knees." An allusion to the Agony in the Garden? I don't recall. But I do think Spring is like that -- little quiet bits of glory everywhere, but if you want to see them, you must get down on your knees on the wet earth and look.

It's worth it.

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