173 in Bloom - Spring 2020!

April Showers Brought May Flowers!

I'm a bit of a pluviophile, always have been.  I know - it's kinda hard to explain considering that as a child I spent a lot of time fretting over the littlest darkness in a cloud, concerned it might impact that evening's baseball game!  

Nonetheless, I've always had a little gemutlichkeit on rainy days.  Don't judge - we're all full of paradoxes.  

All that said, there's just nothing quite like spring when our world bursts forth with the warmth of the sun on our finally bared arms and face, the sight of birds and bugs flitting about, and flowers just leaping from the ground!  Even a pluviophile would be hard pressed not to be in awe!  Sometimes I forget about this little spot...

I enjoy the spring more than the autumn now.  One does, I think, as one gets older. - Virginia Woolf

Here's a closer look at an old scrap-wood birdhouse put together nearly 20 years ago.  The roof is missing but the arbor vitae seems to have it sufficiently covered.

Staying with the conifers, I have no idea the species, but this is always one of my favorite closeups.  Always makes me think of camping!

Of course the cherry tree in the Devil's strip is always a beautiful sight in the spring.  Way back in 2011 I planted this twig of  a Kwansan Cherry tree:

Knowing that someday it would look like this:

Well, it doesn't look like that - yet, but you know, these 9 years later it's already looking amazing, especially in the spring...

Among the many other things I love in the yards of 173 are the lilacs!  There are three kinds, white, classic and French, of which the classic and French were planted back in about 1998 or '99.  Classic lavender was put in the backyard...

In the door-yard fronting an old farm-house, near the white-wash'd palings,
Stands the lilac bush, tall-growing, with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom, rising, delicate, with perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle......and from this bush in the door-yard,
With delicate-color'd blossoms, and heart-shaped leaves of rch green,
A sprig, with its flower, I break. - When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom'd, St. 3, W. Whitman

Although Whitman's poem is a bit of sadness, I have loved this third stanza since Miss Loomis' 9th grade English class.  Whitman conjures exactly what I feel when I pass the lilacs in the spring here at 173.  I suppose it would be mere hubris to try and add the merest adjective, and reading the stanza suffices so, that additional explication would be redundant!  Nonetheless (hehehee) - lilacs are the essence, along with fresh-cut grass, of the scent of the promise of spring, the closing of another school year and long summer days of baseball, swimming, and amusement parks!  The classic lilac is my favorite lilac, the color, the scent, the whole schmear.  But, 173 also has a French lilac called Charles Joly.  

Charles Joly Lilac is a French Hybrid lilac that is considered the best in its color class! Its shiny purple buds open into double, magenta flowers. The effect of the spring bloom is stunning, showing off the vivid coloration of its deep, wine-red flowers. - NatureHills.com

While Carles Joly is certainly a beauty and has a lovely scent, it doesn't come close to the classic lilac!  But here's the interesting part.  When the lilacs went in, "This is the perfect spot," said I to no one there, quite proud of myself for having thought of it.  But when I told my friend Mosher, whose grandparents had been the only other owners of 173, Mosher said, with a lilt of joy mixed with a twist of sarcasm, "Lilacs have been in that spot for decades."  Well, they sure weren't there when I put them in, so I think it's a "Great minds think alike," situation.  But here's the interesting thing - about 5 or 6 years after putting the classic lilacs in this spot, 

...all of a sudden, out of the blue, sprang forth some white lilacs!

Mosher said that the lilacs that had been here for so long were, indeed, white!  Imagine that, maybe another hint of homage to the previous tenders of the soil here at 173!

Cool yeah?  Well, as easily as I could wax on about lilacs, I suppose other flowers are also in bloom.  For instance, along the right side of the corner fence...

...which, in just a few short weeks will be full of all kinds of beautiful flowers, the early allium is about to bloom:

And another of my all-time favorites, the honeysuckle is on the verge!  This is actually the second honeysuckle to be planted next to the oriel.  Last year the one that had been there for almost 20 years, just up and died.  I'm glad the new one is absolutely thriving!

And I have no idea what these are, but they're quite pretty:

And here are the peonies.  I can't wait for them to bloom - another of my favorites, and their scent is so strong it wafts into the window above, straight into the kitchen!  And hey - in the background is the garden hose post I put together last fall!

Don't unopened peonies look like Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors?

This is so cool, here's spirea almost ready to open...

And just a couple days later:

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. – Audrey Hepburn

And who doesn't love Lily of the Valley?

That's spring of 2020!  It'll be an interesting summer but we have home and the beauty of God's nature!

Be safe out there!
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