Becoming

When I started Gardenhood, a little over fifteen months ago, I asked the question, “When does a patch of earth become a garden?”

Well, it’s May, the month of garden riots, the month of dawn to dusk labor for those of us nuts enough to have chosen gardening as a profession, the month when all the thinking space in my brain is taken up with what plants to get for which gardens and how to get all the annuals planted before June. So, I don’t feel capable of answering the question.

Even so, as the weeks of spring fold into those of summer, each time I go out and arrive back at the flat corner lot, I have a good feeling and recurring thought, “It’s starting to look like a gardener lives here.”

It was spring of 2010 that I began reclaiming the 900 square foot parking median from years of total neglect, and I smothered another 900 square feet of front lawn.

The median has come alive.

And inside the chain-link fence, much has changed.

Tree and herbaceous peonies have just gone to their first prom.

The smoke bush will soon be smokin’.

Nearly every day, there is something new to see.

And Edward the Handsome approves most of it. (To approve everything would be to deny his cathood).

I think, just maybe, this patch of earth is becoming a garden.

Now is the Month of Maying

While the USGS predicts a sizzling, dry summer for the gardenhood and far beyond, Spring has been among the earliest and most glorious in memory.

In the long list of glories, the 12 x  12 Cotoneaster in the back yard is dressed in shimmering pearl. The blossoms smell salty and have been dancing with bees, moths, and painted ladies. A fecund celebration.

Weeks ago, when everyone started asking, “Do you think this means we’ll have a hot summer?” I gave long, rambling answers about Colorado’s erratic weather history. Truth is: I thought so, but wasn’t saying.

Why tarnish the pleasure? No matter what lies ahead, spring will end. Don’t they all?

I’m sticking to my guns. This spring is more than revel-worthy, and revel I shall.

So, will you join me in a little musical celebration?

Now is the month of maying,
When merry lads are playing, fa la,
Each with his bonny lass
Upon the greeny grass. Fa la.

The Spring, clad all in gladness,
Doth laugh at Winter’s sadness, fa la,
And to the bagpipe’s sound
The nymphs tread out their ground. Fa la.

Fie then! why sit we musing,
Youth’s sweet delight refusing? Fa la.
Say, dainty nymphs, and speak,
Shall we play at barley-break? Fa la

– Thomas Morley

See you this summer!