And Then I Stepped in Gum . . .

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Springtime Musings

I love spring! I know it's trite, but I can't help it. More specifically, I love this week of spring. The pear trees and the weeping cherries are in full bloom, daffodils and hyacinths brighten up gardens everywhere, the forsythia are still blossoming -- all of my favorite flowering plants and trees. I love driving down the highway and seeing the great white spheres of the pear trees dotted here and there among the slowly greening branches of all the other deciduous trees. I love the intense chartreuse puffballs on the huge, spreading maple trees -- the incipient form of those thick layers upon layers of maple leaves that make those trees look like the epitome of the word "tree."

The first tree we planted, the first spring we were here (and, coincidentally, the spring Katie was born) was a pear tree. We planted it right outside the room that was then my office (now Ian's room) so that I could look out at the blossoms. Pear trees just say "Spring is here!" to me. I think of it as Katie's tree, and I'm sad that we're going to leave it. I'm sure that a pear will be one of the first trees to go in our yard at the new house. Along with a cheery, a dogwood, and a Japanese maple -- and perhaps an apple, since they make such good climbing trees when they get bigger. We'll have a veritable forest. (Oh, and Dave wants a palm, just because they grow down there and he finds them so odd and intriguing.)

One of my favorite springtime phenomena is the varying greening/flowering schedules of deciduous trees. It wasn't until I was an adult, living in Virginia, that I regularly saw "woods" -- large groupings of trees with enough varieties that you could see the different colors of green layered on top of each other and watch the progress over the first few weeks of the season. It echoes the fall color palette that you can see in woods, but in a cheerier, more promising and less melancholy way. I look forward to it all winter long, when the woods are a sea of monotonous branches, broken up here and there with pine trees.

I can't wait to get out and do a little bit of planting. The weather is finally warming up enough to do so, but unfortunately we have to do some maintenance first -- weeding, removing leaves, etc. I think we'll have fun doing it this spring, with Katie helping and Ian running around like crazy in the grass. I'm definitely a fair-weather gardener -- I like to plant things in the spring and watch the perennials I've planted in years past make their entrance every year. I poop out in the summer, which is probably why I've never had a successful vegetable crop. Oh well, I'll just enjoy my perennials and not worry too much about it. Maybe someday I'll have the persistence to finally reap a harvest of peppers and cherry tomatoes.