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Things that make me happy – spring!

By March 27, 2007November 12th, 2016photos, thoughts

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.

Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • Ruth says:

    Beautiful pictures — you’re making me homesick. What a great gift from the previous owners. (Suddenly, I’m feeling sorry for whoever buys our house if/when we move!)

    Our family has a new car game that we play: we bark whenever we see a flowering DOGwood, and sing “wisteria!” whenever we spot it “hanging like grapes,” as my 5-year-old says. I get the feeling you wouldn’t have much time for conversation if you played the same game.

  • Jennifer says:

    I just noticed the wisteria TODAY and immediately thought of you! Glad you’ve got some of your very own now.

  • Laurie says:

    Ruth — that’s a great game! We have the same “identify the dogwoods” game, but we don’t bark. We just say “DOGWOOD!” I’ll have to suggest the barking tomorrow!

    Jennifer — Sure would love to sit under our wisteria-covered pergola sipping tea with you. Come visit soon.

  • Jenny says:

    I want those salt and pepper shakers. Fabulous!

  • girlconqueso says:

    There’s something about the Southland in the springtime.

  • Betsy says:

    Our crocus just popped up so we’re happy up here too! It’s shocking to see how far spring has progressed elsewhere on the planet.

  • So nice!

    Oh, I tagged you, but only if you want to do it.

  • Great photos. Yay spring! Also, hooray for oregano!

  • Selinde says:

    Aww – that brought tears to my eyes! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the flowers. We sure did too. Wait till the roses start up on the trellis – that’s May – and then the crepe myrtle in June – oh and the Lady Banks rose on the fence in April. And don’t forget the gardenia over on School St. – you can smell it in the kitchen when it’s really going. We miss it but are soaking up the mountain spring here which is much less showy and gradual but still very welcome. Thanks Linda Shea for sharing – miss you too!

  • ruth Cohen says:

    It was delightful. Josh and I BOTH loved it.


    Aunt Ruth

  • Mia Tyler says:

    Hey!…Thanks for the nice read, keep up the interesting posts about aunt mia..what a nice Wednesday .

  • Mia Tyler says:

    Hello…Man i just love your blog, keep the cool posts about Things that make me happy – spring! comin..holy Wednesday .

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