In winter, my yard survives with drab browns that have ten thousand shades, and yet still seem the same. My husband paces, back and forth, thinking of all the work we need to do. It’s too cold, windy, or just depressing in winter, so we stay inside and warm ourselves with sweaters.
I have secrets about my backyard. Sometime at the end of January, snowdrops lift their cheery white bonnets and lean towards each other to whisper that Spring will come. They keep me from feeling lost with all the browns. Even though I can see my neighbors behind me, little things start to happen. In March, we had the grape muscari lift blooms taller each day. The lilacs budded, cherry trees bloomed, pear trees followed, then the lilacs opened and the smell in the evening like the sweetest perfume. My azaleas always bloom after the rest of the neighborhood’s have finished. Green creeps along the branches, maples flower, seed, then leaf. And all of the time, when small things are growing, my house begins to disappear. Oh granted, there is weeding to be done. Trimming has to start sometime, but I stall. I like the violets in the grass. The yard needs sprucing, who am I to complain. I need sprucing myself.
The tall black locusts, once used for main masts on sailing ships, thrive in the common ground where no one bothers to mow. Blooming every other year, they are trailing white pea flower shapes that chart the wind for me. Pawpaws, dogwood, four red buds, two towering plane trees fill in the missing puzzle pieces.
The iris sprung straight from the ground in April. Hurrying to be counted, they stood straight and tall in the rain. Sixteen days of rain, which turned the yard greener than I remember it. It’s like this every spring. Daffodils, roses, everything bloomed before its time this year, and I’d not give it up. So many different colors beaming at me.
The best of all, though, are the small green tree frogs that sing every day at sunset, into the night, until exhausted, they sneak away to hide until the next evening. Their song cheers me when nothing else can. It’s only May, and the garden has had its own thoughts of bluebells, zinnias, geraniums, and fuchsia. Looking down the back hill into a small runoff of water, to small for a stream, there will be fireflies. And the yard hides the world of worry away from me until November returns.