the Merry Month of May

Before.

Before.

One thing Katrina taught me last year is that no matter how hard it is, it’s essential to cut back your flowers early so they’ll double and triple their blooms as they grow. It’s so hard to snip those little blips of color when you pot up the annuals, but trust me ~ trust Katrina ~ you’ll be glad you did.

After. The same pot trimmed of flowers, with an Early Girl tomato behind it in a wall-of-water; again, hedging my bets.

After. The same pot trimmed of flowers, with an Early Girl tomato behind it in a wall-of-water; hedging my bets.

After After. Don't despair. Clipping back the blossoms isn't a total loss.

After After. Don’t despair. Clipping back the blossoms isn’t a total loss.

Another pot whose blossoms contributed to the vase. After a feeding and a few weeks its flowers will be spilling over.

Another pot whose blossoms contributed to the vase. After a feeding and a few weeks its flowers will flourish.

The Fuji apple. All the apples are in bloom except the wild one, which has finished and is already leafing out. Tomorrow's predicted snow and two sub-freezing nights may do them in. I've got my fingers crossed.

The Fuji apple. All the apples are in bloom except the wild one, which has finished and is already leafing out. Tomorrow’s predicted snow and two sub-freezing nights may do them in. I’ve got my fingers crossed.

I bought a little blue tractor from Gardeners' Supply for a well-spent ninety dollars. No motor, but I can scoot along the paths sideways, sitting and weeding. After two years of consideration I finally ordered it, and assembled it, when I was hobbled a few weeks ago by plantar fasciitis.

I bought a little blue tractor from Gardeners’ Supply for a well-spent ninety dollars. No motor, but I can scoot along the paths sideways, sitting and weeding. After two years of consideration I finally ordered it, and assembled it, when I was hobbled a few weeks ago by plantar fasciitis.

The Bombay Wall and the crabapple in glorious bloom.

The Bombay Wall and the crabapple in glorious bloom.

The birch tree leafing out to shade the beehive, with grape hyacinths still in full bloom. Joseph left a message yesterday telling me he just caught a swarm, suggesting my hive could swarm any minute, wondering if I was out catching one right now. Such a thoughtful call; I wasn't, but I think the bees have been out scouting for awhile now. If in fact they did choose me this is why: I am going to let them fly.

The birch tree leafing out to shade the beehive, with grape hyacinths still in full bloom. Joseph left a message yesterday telling me he just caught a swarm, suggesting my hive could swarm any minute, wondering if I was out catching one right now. Such a thoughtful call; I wasn’t, but I think the bees have been out scouting for awhile now. If in fact they did choose me this is why: I am going to let them fly.

The delicate scent of lilacs held in limbo ~ they started to open in last week's warm weather, and seem to have stopped themselves the past few days of lingering winter.

The delicate scent of lilacs held in limbo ~ they started to open in last week’s warm weather, and seem to have stopped themselves the past few days of lingering winter.

Last year's self-sown lettuce (clipped back yesterday) spilled over the corner of the bed where yesterday I planted two types of carrots.

Last year’s self-sown lettuce (clipped back yesterday) spilled over the corner of the bed where yesterday I planted two types of carrots.

Fall-planted spinach and cilantro interspersed with feral garlic and two winter squashes I put in the tunnel a few days ago, hoping they'll withstand the next few freezing nights and get a good head start for summer.

Fall-planted spinach and cilantro interspersed with feral garlic and two winter squashes I put in the tunnel a few days ago, hoping they’ll withstand the next few freezing nights and get a good head start for summer.

Digging into the south border to plant a new little silver thyme I uncovered this chrysalis. Or casement. Bigger than my pinkie finger. So huge and unexpected I thought it might have been a stray seashell accidentally buried in the garden, I gently squeezed it. When it gave slightly, I dropped it back into the dirt. I hope it's not a giant green tomato worm waiting to hatch.

Digging into the south border to plant a new little silver thyme I uncovered this chrysalis. Or casement. Bigger than my pinkie finger. So huge and unexpected I thought it might have been a stray seashell accidentally buried in the garden, I gently squeezed it. When it gave slightly, I dropped it back into the dirt. I hope it’s not a giant green tomato worm waiting to hatch.

Mountains shrouded in winter mist and freshly weeded flagstone, with the sweet young aspen sapling in spring green.

Mountains shrouded in winter mist and freshly weeded flagstone, with the sweet young aspen sapling in spring green.

Dog and hose.

Dog and hose.

Stellar the Stardog is a hopeless lounge lizard. Seriously.

Stellar the Stardog is a hopeless lounge lizard. Seriously.

Bling on my big toe.

Big toe bling. Fresh happy nails for summer.

“How many cats do you have?” asked Andy, the young Vietnamese man massaging my calf before polishing my toenails. He was looking at the various hairs on my pants. Deb treated me to a mani-pedi when I accompanied her to Montrose for a dentist appointment.

“Just one,” I said, “and two dogs.” I realized with a slight shock as we waited our turn and I observed the shining shins of the women already underway that I hadn’t shaved my legs since last summer. “All this,” I added, sweeping my hand up my calf, “is also hair from the cat, all stuck on my legs.” I shrieked as he cleaned one of my nails. “Baby guts,” said Deb. I doubt she’ll ever take me out for a spa day again.

“You want cheese grater?” he asked, and scraped and scraped at my calloused heels. “I’m a gardener,” I explained. “You want flower?” he said, after he’d painted my nails red. I have only had a few pedicures in my life, and never a professional manicure, and never ever painted flowers on my nails. “Sure,” I said. You can’t have too many flowers. A tiny work of art is what he did, with a drop of white polish, a toothpick, and a little bead.

With all I’ve had on my mind lately ~ this inexplicable dizziness, a new foot pain, the flush of lush spring weeds and bad grasses, and peer pressure to exterminate prairie dogs ~ this little indulgence brings a jolt of joy each time I look down in bare feet.

 

“Beauty is not optional. Art is not something peripheral, but literally a strategy for survival.” ~ Terry Tempest Williams

 

One thought on “the Merry Month of May

  1. Thanks for the post. I believe that Crysallis is a tomato worm. We captured a few last year and fed them in a bucket to see what would happen – what happened was something that they turned into something exactly like that. They seem so harmless, right?

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around cutting the blooms off the annuals. I know it’s right and good, but I never can seem to do it. Maybe this year will be different. Much love from my mesa to yours.

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