By LYNNE IRONS
I love Easter. Not only is church filled to capacity, but it is the real turning point between winter and spring. It doesn’t seem to matter that it is particularly early this year. Main street is getting its annual makeover. Especially lovely is the store front of the Two Susans. There is a shocking number of têteàtête daffodils. As I recall, that bed looks spectacular all summer.
I picked up some American Cancer Society fund-raising daffodils. They were completely closed, but by morning, even in my chilly house, they opened in all their cheerful glory. Also, while in the market, I purchased the annual garden edition of Martha Stewart Living. I never used to like her — way too perfect — but her time in jail put her in good graces with me. Isn’t it odd that she goes to jail for lying and there are so many who actually get paid with our tax dollars? Let me go ahead and get the politics out of the way.
When the Bush administration took office, oil was $36 a barrel. Here is another statistic that you will love to hate. When all is said and done, the Iraq war will cost $3 trillion (interest on our loan from China plus life-long care, hopefully, for our wounded heroes.) Liberal Opinion Newspaper helps us wrap our minds around that figure. If dollar bills were taped together end-to-end, three trillion of them would stretch to the moon and back 600 times.
I have been happily forcing this week. No, not my family. That never works no matter how much guilt I try to lay on them. Rather, I have had great success with all kinds of twigs: quince, cherry, peach, and even some white lilacs. The dogwood is my favorite. The blossoms take a while to open, are much smaller, and a pale green color, but they really give an oriental air to a corner.
Last year I mentioned that I had lost my seed catalogue ordering privileges. Well, no one stopped me, and here I am once again seeding away with abandon. If only I had more property.
The bare-rooted perennials arrived last Friday. We have been potting them up all week. It is an economical way to have perennials for less than half the price of nursery-grown.
My baby chicks arrived, as well, via the U.S. Mail. They are Cornish game hens which hopefully will be table-ready by June 1. Call me up if you want to know how easy it is to grow your own meat.
Don’t you hate raking a bed this time of year and finding emerging bulbs under piles of leaves? The crocus flowers get removed inadvertently and the daffodil leaves are two feet long and white. If only we had half the energy to do what our minds imagine possible. I give it my best shot and end up moaning in the morning. They should invent a machine for you health-club enthusiasts that mimics pushing a wheelbarrel up a hill.
One of the most dependable spring plants is the viola. I prefer the old-fashioned small-flowered ones as opposed to the “monkey-faced” pansies. If you are diligent about dead-heading, they will bloom well into June as long as the nights are cool. Then, they can be chopped within an inch of their lives. They will rebloom in the fall when the dog days have ended.
I love their pesky cousin, Johnny-Jump-Up, which reseeds like crazy all over the place. I have seen him in tiny sidewalk cracks, on top of stone walls, and in drain pipes.
Any day now the true violets will be out. I am particularly fond of violets, probably because of my only granddaughter, Violet, who, naturally, is perfect in every way.