Best Spring Ever

Our winter was benign, and left early, never to return.  Our spring has been balmy, even tempered.  I can only think of two nights where I worried about frost.  It shows.  Early spring bulbs were beautiful.  Flowering trees woke up and represented early. My hellebores, congested with blooms.   Cool nights are making every spring statement essay length.  My old tree form wisteria is gorgeous right now. In its vining form, wisteria can be a colossal irritation.  It grows too fast. It frequently refuses to bloom, after all the work you might do to feed, water, and prune properly.  It crushes anything but the strongest support. Rumor has it that some ancient estate in the south has been completely engulfed by a wisteria vine covering acres. Like I said, just a rumor from my early gardening years that I have never forgotten.  Is not any wisteria story believable?   But this year-the wisteria blooming makes me understand why gardeners put up with them.   

The tree form isolates those uncivilized and fast growing tendrils from the community at large, and keeps all their mischief confined to their own home.  My first wisteria tree was a one gallon whip; I planted the tiny thing with nothing but lawn around it for blocks. I drove 3 galvanized steel stakes into the ground as far as Fred from next door could manage.  Within a year I was tying the trunk to my steel tripod with nylon stockings. The first five years-not a good look.  My green vining version of Cousin It, bound to those silver poles-bizarre looking.  Of course, there were no flowers.  Neighbors would occasionally ask me what my intent was with that plant.         

The 6th year, my tree wisteria bust forth with hundred of fragrant lavender racemes-all of them dripping to impossible lengths.  Thousands of pea-like flowers, weeping in the most breathtaking way you could imagine. I laid down on the ground under that tree, and looked up through those flowers to the sky-a perfect gardening moment.  This spring, the wisteria is blooming everywhere-heavily.  The perfume, heady.  

Not all evidence of a great spring is so dramatic.  My old Picea Mucrunulatum have pushed forth very long candles this year.  They are going for broke.  This new evergreen growth I call spring green.  Everywhere I see plants growing robustly; they have all been coached by the mild winter season, and the milder spring.  Some years we have had no spring. An extreme winter is replaced by an equally extreme summer.  I so understand why the gardens, and the gardeners in England take my breath away.  A gentle and moderate climate is the best dance partner any gardener could ever hope for. 

The tulips at the shop are in their glory right now. Their incredible size and height I attribute to a benign frozen dormancy, and regular soaking spring rains.  Juicy. My asparagus this year-divine.

Our early spring plantings show no signs of being under siege from overly cold temperatures.  The in ground plantings have grown and thickened up; the blooming is profuse.  In this limestone pot, the new Alyssum “Snow Princess”.  A new variety that has gotten much press at trial-I will give it a try.  That distinctive alyssum spring smell-I got the message from fully ten feet away.

The crabapples have been outstanding.  The flowers on this coralburst crab-dense.  A coralburst has a naturally round lollipop shape-in bloom, they will make you smile.  This spring, our spring-every gardeners smile is a broad one. 

As Janet would say, this particular spring has been so beautiful, one could fall to the ground and weep.  That’s the kind of gardener she is.   As for me, it has been everything I ever imagined, and more.  The best spring, ever.