Tuesday, March 20, 2012

All I Know Is That She Was Awfully High And Mighty For Someone Named After Breakfast Meat

Andrew came home from school on Tuesday and started listing off to me all the wonderful treats he'd had to eat in class: Cookies, candy, popsicles .... Was it someone's birthday, I asked? No. Some sort of class party? "Yes, it's the first day of spring!" he replied with a grin. I had no idea! But I was all about celebrating it. So after lunch the kids and I went through the yard to photograph everything we could find that was in bloom. They were my spring fairies, skipping through the appallingly high and weedy grass with wands in hand. Andrew started out the tour by picking one of our many dandelions and sowing a few seeds.

You'll have to bear with me if I get some of the names of the flowers wrong. I'm trying! And I'm learning, slowly but surely, thanks to Lauren and Julianne (dear friends who are transforming my yard into a whimsical land suitable for the most magical of spring fairies ... more on them later).



Aren't they cute? I think these are miniature ones ... we've got some bigger ones, too, but I fancy the wee blossoms.

Violas and thyme spilling out of window boxes

Yoshino Cherry Tree (ahhhhh!)


Absolutely no idea

Crazy giant dogwood

Bearded Irises

??? But aren't they so pretty?

Just a few Lenten roses

Lenten rose up close and personal.

My yard seems to love them. They keep just popping up all over! A constant and beautiful reminder to me of this deeply meaningful season on the Christian calendar.


Native azalea

This thing is awesome. Looks and smells like clusters of honeysuckle.

A big patch of happiness right by the front door!



They make the whole front yard smell like heaven.


Sigh. I love tulips.


This was the only brave little guy I could find, but my arbors are about to explode with white lady banks roses. What a fancy and regal name for a flower! Be warned ... if I ever become some sort of nobility, I'm going to require everyone to call me Lady Banks and do a swirling, flourishy motion with their hands when they say it.



I know it's not actually a "bloom" but I love ferns. These are autumn ferns that will turn beautiful fallish colors later in the year. The little unfurling fronds always make me think of precious babies growing in the womb.

Japanese snowball

Don't ask me.

But you could ask Lauren and Julianne Thatch and they could tell you. They are a couple of the sweetest people you could ever meet (they are married ... Lauren is, in fact, a man, just in case there be a question there). They have 3 precious boys who play with my little ones on a regular basis. One day when Julianne was standing on my front porch, she casually pointed to a patch of stuff growing in a bed near the front door that I was carefully tending. "Did you, um, know these are weeds?" she asked in her kind way. No. No I did not. And I was then a little sorry that I had just purchased fresh pine straw to lay around them.

A few days later, both she and Lauren were on that same porch (now next to a bed all empty except for some fresh straw) and Lauren so very sensitively offered to help me out with the yard, motioning while he talked to the side yard that had at one point been an awesome cottagey flower garden, but was now in wild disarray. Now Lauren is a landscaper for one of Atlanta's most prestigious landscape design companies - we would have to sell one, or possibly both, of the children to actually hire him through that company. And Julianne worked in a plant nursery for years and is his partner in the designing he does in his off time. And here they were offering to help make sense of the madness my yard had become. Um, yes! Where do I sign?!

So it went from, "If you have some extra time to help us clear out the mess that would be really nice" to "Oh my gosh y'all are awesome do you think you can re-do the whole yard pretty please?!?!" really fast. They started last fall when time allowed, and magical things have been happening all over the place ever since. Lauren just finished installing the Chinese inspired garden he and Julianne designed in honor of Phil's love and appreciation of that country and culture. I plan to get some pictures of that really soon. As soon as we get some sort of seating available out there, I'm not sure Phil will ever come inside again.

And now, returning to my Ode to Spring, I shall leave you with one final moment of vernal bliss: A wren has built a nest in Phil's motorcycle helmet.