Little ceramic milk bottle that tells it like it is, filled with light-colored flowers, flanked by vintage salt + pepper shakers (boxing pineapple and banana head), with tiny stained glass flower charms suctioned to window. Right over my kitchen sink. Makes doing the dishes a whole lot lovelier.
There is no sign of spring quite as expressive as a wall or ceiling of wisteria. Shocking purple, with heavy looking bunches that sprinkle light feathery petals like soap flakes, and a candy smell that stops you dead in your tracks. When I lived in Durham, my friend Jennifer and I had an annual date where we walked to the Duke Gardens when the wisteria was blooming, making sure to walk by one wall of it in particular, along campus drive. Then we’d sit under the gazebo in the sweetest shade on earth. And now I have it blooming on my own deck. You’re invited to come sit under it with me any time. How ’bout tomorrow?
Here in the south, creeping phlox has an informal name: thrift. I love thrift. It comes in white, lavender, pink and magenta. When it is in full bloom it looks like icing pouring down a wall, or creeping across a bed. Sweet creamy crispy frosting. And there’s some in my front yard!
Azaleas are aflame all over town now and they’re all fabulously fiery (except for the white ones — they’re fabulously snowy). But there is one color in particular that I could dive into every time I see it. It’s this dark red that has a luminosity that makes it almost fluorescent. And we have one! I’m tempted to pick the blossoms and eat them. Or at least lick them. Or just sit on the porch and stare at it all day.
We have a terribly sunny bay window in our dining room that faces mostly east and somewhat south which means pretty much anything can grow there. I thought Zoe and Lucy might like having a pot of herbs in the house (well, I’d like to have a pot of herbs in the house — I thought Zoe and Lucy might like having a pot in the house that they could eat out of), so I bought some basil, oregano and parsley seeds and we planted them together last week. Only, Zoe and Lucy dumped their whole seed packet into the pot (so of course I just did the same), so it’s going to be very very crowded very very soon. The first sprouts just appeared — I think they’re oregano. Aren’t they just so cute, all huddled together like that, leaning their little heads toward the window.
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Spring gets me going every year — I love to marvel at the symphonic celebration of color put forth by the plants of the world, and the warm weather certainly does a lot for the psyche, even if winter wasn’t all that wintry. And the lazy evenings where you go outside after dinner? Mmm, mmm. But this year I have an added treat: watching my new yard as it sings its springy song. We moved in July last year — the dog days of summer here in NC — and we didn’t spend much time in the yard. So I feel like I’m just now learning what it’s all about. And let me tell you, it’s exquisite. To the family that came before us? Thank you.