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Chronicling Spring

“Do to me what spring does to the cherry tree.”

–Chilean poet Pablo Neruda

Every year, usually beginning in late February, I begin a weekly chronicle

of spring events in my garden. I note what flower is about to unfold, what leaf just unfurled, when the first lizard begins sunbathing on the concrete steps, where my Echevaria collection also meets the sun. I see where the self-seeding annuals are coming up and when they bloom, and when each of my four Wisterias is at its peak. The list is dates and names and, in some years, photos. What begins as a steady march from the quiet of winter to the abundance of summer becomes a stampede, impossible to keep up with in mid-April when the list changes daily. The bud of a poppy in the early morning is a full flower in the afternoon.

This year it has been different. The unfolding has been slower. Maybe because it is colder and wetter than usual. Maybe it is me. I am older, slower. Maybe because this spring I am often home all day, as most of us are.

My white Wisteria floribunda ‘Longissima Alba’ is the star of spring; it is my cherry tree, Mr. Neruda. I’ve been training it for ten years. Of my four Wisterias it is the last to bloom. Each year I go through agonies of worry. Is it dead? One year it almost was. But look at it now!

Self-seeded annuals are always the spring surprises. They have their own ideas of where to bloom best. Each year a different arrangement.

Have hope Sow seeds

~ Judy Horton

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