There are so many things that Jon and I love about winter that it always comes as a bit of a surprise to feel totally pumped about spring. We have a cold garden, always the last in the neighbourhood to bloom, so it’s not that. It must be the light levels. What is not to love about finishing dinner before the sun sets? My I.Q. mirrors sunrise and sunset, so I get a whole lot more accomplished in the sunny half of the year, and don’t ever ask me something complicated after dark. I have started to locate and rummage through the gardening tools and might even clean and store the winter boots this week. As with snow tires and male mania, timing is king in spring and fall.
When it comes to beating everybody else in the garden to the draw, scylla is the uncontested champ. We began decades ago with a single plant and now these dear sweet bulbs bloom everywhere: they are my favourite spring flowers. I try to corral them in the rock garden, only because it kills me to mow their little blue heads off several weeks from now, but this is an impossible task and so we end up with fanciful mowing patterns. Luckily, they bring me inordinate pleasure and it’s a small price to pay for that brilliance of colour. Within a few days the crocuses will open, happily surprising me yet again because I will be reminded that they in fact are my favourites; masters of survival like the scylla, croci even manufacture a miniature eco-system with their hairy leaves and petals. Before you know it, the blue violets will appear. I usually decide that I like them the best. You might sense a pattern developing. It’s not that I can’t make up my mind; it’s more about being a cheap date, as my husband observes.
By then I will be past redemption, hopelessly tantalized by the need to paint something, anything, which is deep blue; keeping that in mind, if you walk past our garden in late April, you might find me doing The Photography Crawl; simply put, I lie prone on the ground, use the close-up lens and try to think like an ant. But digital photography saps the reds so the blues are never right, and I’m tired of guessing. So if you catch me paint-splattered while recumbent or crouched in a flower bed, palette in hand, just do the decent thing, for heaven’s sake. Don’t let on that you saw me. I will do my best to ignore you too. Thank you.