May has been a strange month, starting with cool days, lovely for walking but too cold for gardening. And so I was jealous when I heard about spring erupting all over Manhattan and West Hartford, where some of my children live, when it still looked like winter here in Andes. But gradually, the days did become warmer, even hot, and the daffodils opened; buds emerged on sugar maples and spring had finally come. As it happens every year at this time, I couldn’t wait to plant seeds and buy seedlings for later planting. Hanging baskets were at their peak in all the garden centers, and I couldn’t resist them, even knowing that more cold weather was sure to come and I’d have to bring them in at night when temperatures fell.
I bought four, forty-pound bags of beautiful brown mulch to spread on the flower-beds. When I got them home, I realized that getting them out of the trunk and spreading the mulch was going to be more of a problem than I had anticipated with no one here to help me!
Reading through my “Garden Journals,” begun in 2003 and written faithfully, day after day, until gradually tapering off in 2013 when laziness started to set in, I discovered that May has always been just as it has been this month: hot days, cold days, dry periods followed by pouring rain, always after planting seeds that got washed helter-skelter! There were perfect days for working in the garden, followed by the onslaught of insects that suddenly woke from wherever they were hibernating, to make it impossible to stay outside without covering myself from head to toe.
Today, May 13th, is rainy and cold, following yesterday’s warm sun. It seems that that’s what’s needed to make everything grow. Ornamental trees are suddenly, overnight, blooming everywhere. Lilacs are flowering. Forsythia is dropping yellow flowers as their bloom is finished. Dandelions are bright yellow dots on green lawns. Apple orchards are at their peak, but will freezing temperatures predicted for tonight spoil the apple crop? I’d hate to be a farmer and have to worry about all these uncontrollable happenings!
As I drove along Route 28 today, the newly leafed-out trees formed a tunnel surrounding me, and through the trees I could see the tapestry of emerald grass and richly mulched, dark brown soil, waiting for what will grow in days to come, and beautiful cows, placidly enjoying this wonderful season, and baby lambs nuzzling close to their mothers.
It’s truly a magnificent time of the year in Andes!~