I should be editing a novel. It’s due soon, and I need to go through the whole thing, trimming wordy sentences, adding character development, and making sure I tied up all the loose ends in the plot. Instead, I keep slipping outside to wander through the garden. So far I’ve only got daffodils, vinca and violets blooming, but the redbud is about to pop. And the pear trees across the street are beautiful white mounds. The tulips I planted last year have come up, and the annuals like hostas, tall phlox and black-eyed Susans are poking their heads up through the ground.
This year I did some very unusual planting–a new rock in my front yard. It’s hollow, to hide the cleanout for the sewer line. (Not a very romantic reason, I know.) But I love the effect. It might be plastic, but setting it in place was a major construction effort. It looked so massive sitting in my front yard, that I dug a hole big enough to bury it four or five inches all around–under the disapproving eyes of watchful neighbors who were doubtless wondering if I’d gone crazy. To commemorate the occasion, I’ve posed with my new lawn ornament. I’m wearing the great dragon jacket that I got in China last year.
But my favorite spring event is a trip to Brighton Dam Park. I tell people that if they live around here and don’t go there in the spring, they’re crazy. It borders a reservoir, and the Water Commission made the acres along the water into azalea heaven. There are lots of natural trails, leading through acres and acres of flowering bushes. They’ll be fantastic in a couple of weeks. Many of the plants are twenty or thirty years old, and they tower over you. So you walk through a woodland that takes your breath away. Or you can climb the hill and look down on a panorama of pink, salmon, purple and white. The National Arboretum has similar trails. But it’s farther away. So we’re more likely to drive the fifteen minutes to Brighton.
My own yard’s not quite so spectacular, but my azaleas will be out soon. I call them my spies, because they tell me when it’s time to for a trip to azalea heaven.
My latest release is ETERNAL MOON, out this week.