12. April 2007 · Comments Off on Rites of Spring · Categories: Domestic, General, Home Front, World

We are having a very pleasant spring here in South Texas…of course, being that it is South Texas, where is saying is “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes…” These conditions are apt to change with practically the speed of light. But this spring, all the climate u-turns have been favorable. Well, all but the overnight freeze over Easter Weekend which has probably trashed the Hill Country peach harvest for this year, as it hit when all the trees were blossoming. (As far as I know, Al Gore was not in town that weekend.) The next spectacular thunderstorm may yet favor us with golf-ball-sized hail… but so far all that has resulted is to make everything spectacularly green. Richly and lushly emerald green, as green as Ireland ever was, all the fields and the trees and the hedges that people have planted along the roads. And the flowers this year are splendid, not just the bluebonnets, but this year there are fields of purple wild verbena, and bright yellow daisies, drifts of pink primrose, more of them than I have ever seen before. And butterflies… we have had butterflies all this winter, for some strange reason. They are supposed to be especially sensitive to environmental pollution; guess we are not getting as much of it these days.

In my own garden, all the things that were blasted back to ground level by winter frost are practically exploding out of the ground. In a fit of boredom last fall, I had poured out some patented fertilizer goop on the ground under the rosebushes, and over the winter another fit of boredom led me to prune them all. Oddly enough, they have responded to this abuse by covering themselves entirely with bloom; red, white, pink and apricot. The sage and lavender plants that I scored from the severely-marked-down-get-em-outta-here-before-they-croak shelves at Lowe’s last fall are also blooming madly. The front garden actually looks, if you squint a little and back off to view it from a certain angle, like one of those spectacular pictures of a border at some stately English home; a mass of red, lavender and sulfur-yellow, on grey-green foliage.

Round in back, the wisteria came and went as it always does, in a week flat, but the jasmine is going strong, and the various potted limes and lemon, and the sweet-olive held out bravely… well, they did, once we banished the faint odor of dog-poop. The next rain shower took care of the lingering bits, and we finally moved around one of our junking finds to the back yard.

The last time the city came around for the bulk-trash pickup, where they will take everything but building debris and wrecked automobiles, Blondie and I spotted a wooden chaise-lounge put out in a pile of other trash. It was one of those sturdy home-made things, made out of 2x4s… very well made, actually, with metal slats on springs to support the cushions. The only thing the matter with it was one of the legs was a little rotted at the bottom, where it must have been sitting on wet ground for a while. And there were no cushions, of course. Until I made a set a couple of weeks ago, out of oilcloth, and we put it out where we have paved a large space with ornamental pavers set in gravel.

It is now nearly our favorite place to sit outdoors. I sat there for an hour yesterday evening, reading “The Worst Hard Time”… which seemed a terribly incongruous choice, given the garden and green trees all around me.

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