Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Debi: Rebirth in the City

Spring comes slowly everywhere, I think. Depending on how frustrated you've been with the weather -- and probably none this year more so than Stori! -- the baby steps that bring in spring weather can be excruciating. Here in Evanston, we've had several days over sixty degrees that were then followed with snow, or a week of sub-freezing weather. The slow striptease of green here is enough to fill my back foyer with mountains of clothes. A week's weather can require rain gear one day, light jackets another, then winter coats and mittens, and then back to the light jackets for another day. Never do we check the weather report more often than in March and April.

The nice thing about it is that our walk to school is now conducted at least partially with our heads down, searching for those first signs of flowers. That photo on top is of some fiesty tulips pushing their way through the dead grasses and leaves from last fall. I'm a fits-and-starts gardener, and while I was diligent about raking and pruning for some of the fall, eventually I got so far behind that I just decided to call the fruits of my laziness "compost." The tulips clearly didn't suffer. Our back yard is a beautiful garden left to me by the former owners of our house, who lovingly shaped it, only to leave it to someone who fought yardwork her whole childhood, only grudgingly raking or digging when absolutely ordered to do so.

Now the garden belongs to me, and I feel more inspired by it. I've managed to discover some wonderful herbs growing there -- peppermint, spearmint, anise hyssop, oregano, and chives -- and last summer added basil, thyme, dill, and two ill-fated rosemary plants. I've asked my family to dedicate a day on Mother's Day weekend to planting our annuals, which I mostly put in pots that hang around the fences and porch railings. For now, we're enjoying all the buds, including these that we lovingly admired this weekend as I raked what I ignored last fall:
Our neighbors have beautiful things happening too, but they come and go with the cold. These flowers were glorious on our walk to school one day, but closed up and huddled against the cold on our way home:

It's going to get spectacular around here any day now...I can feel it!

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