The years passed here in our garden at Valley View. Five kinds of clematis cover the pergola by summer. The three Alberta spruce that were once so small are now tall. This garden has become a spring garden and is as much like the dooryard gardens of Blowing Rock, North Carolina as we could make it.
When the Muscari flowers that intense blue-purple around the trunk of the Kousa dogwood that was once a mere sapling, I fall in love with our garden all over again. You could not pay me to leave home that week.
When the hostas begin to peep above ground...
And grow larger each passing day, joined by the pink azaleas, I would not willingly leave home.
The Kousa dogwood puts on its show, long after the early dogwoods are gone.
An old red climber blooms and white North Carolina mountain azaleas.
The Flame azalea reaches its peak after the pink ones fade.
I could sit for hours and look at the small Mountain-laurel that has tiny sweet old-fashioned blooms.
Do you really think I'd leave home then?
However, it is about this time of year that our garden starts to become slightly unsightly.
Let's face it, soon the only color will be pink astilbe and spirea, and the clematis vines on the pergola. Thank heaven for the faithful aquilegia that we planted 20 years ago and springs up each spring even between the paving stones.
I used to do the weeding in this garden, R.H. and our sons helping me. Eventually I went to a kneeling stool to do it. Finally arthritic knees protested and I weeded bending over. That ended when my back started fussing.
Sons grew up and left home and the garden lost those weeders. Grandsons grew up and the garden lost more weeders. Guess who gets stuck with it now?
No, not little Nora. It's R.H. who does most of the weeding now, after working hard all week. This is why most of our gardening effort the last few years has gone into container gardening around our shady back deck and picnic shelter. That is where we spend the most time, where we relax and watch the birds feed.
But the front garden is important. It is lovely now.
But when July arrives, unless we plant annuals galore, it will be a green jungle that R.H. attacks in spurts when the wisteria vines begin to snake their way across the porch floor and I envision them sneaking into our house and strangling us while we sleep.
"Something must be done." That's what we say each year in July, but really, something must be done.
Even Sammi Gayle knows that...