Just a few days ago I took the picture of the magnolia tree in flower that I posted. Now the flowers are all spent, the tree has greened up, and the next stage of Spring is here.
Mid-April madness is a mind-set that always comes upon me at this lovely pause in Spring’s sweet progress.
Things are green, but still slightly golden around the edges. Flowers are still tender — not yet having achieved the profusion and brilliance of a southern summer.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are not yet deep green (they are still pale along the high ridges, where Spring is running a week or so behind).
Misty mornings still hold a touch of frost behind my house, though the birds wake me earlier each day.
I’m still filled with the enthusiasm of Spring. Once Summer arrives in earnest, I wilt way too easily to enjoy the gardens I plan at this time of year. I will soon seek the cool dimness of air-conditioned rooms, instead of baking in the garden’s heat.
For now, though, grandiose plans are the order of the day.
I visualize spilling containers of herbs, brilliant pots of petunias and zinnias, hot pink roses, and climbing trumpet vines with dancing hummingbirds.
I imagine cool, deep green shadows under arbors heavy with grapes… my magical garden that needs more sweat and muscle than I can provide.
But, I’ve got a plan!
I cook. In fact, I cook really really well.
So, I’ve lined up garden and yard work on the barter system for this year.
One friend to mow, one to trim hedges, one to weed and mulch, and so forth. I’ll make gallons of red sauce, quarts of chicken in wine sauce, pots of vegetable soup, pounds of artichoke salads, baked ziti, casseroles, stews, stir-fries — you name it, I’ll cook it.
My garden elves will be well-fed, and I’ll finally have the garden my mid-April madness and imagination dictate.
Buon Appetito, garden crew!