It is, once again, springtime. In my part of Texas, that means the sky is the kind of scrubbed-clean electric blue that comes with being freshly washed by rain, and everything else is green or magenta. Oleanders and azaleas and roses adorn the yards of conscientious homeowners everywhere, and the birds and butterflies and bees are like gods in bliss.
The twin Chinese tallow trees in my front yard tower over everything with an expansive canopy. In the autumn, their foliage turns fire-engine red, almost overnight, down to the last tender leaf; within a few weeks, their limbs stick out bare, stretched over a carpet of fading crimson. But now it is March, and their branches once again flaunt a soft flutter of continually multiplying green, each deep lime cluster crowned with a pale orange flourish of new growth. Beneath the trees, fledgling rosebushes sprout floribundas basking in the sunlight the tree has not yet blocked. The ivy groundcover could use a trim. And a hardy and rapidly burgeoning new vine suggests that, back in the fall, one of our decorative pumpkins must have split open and dropped some opportunistic seeds into the soil without our notice.
You may have read my post a couple of months back about my love-hate relationship with my garden. Back then, zero-scaping seemed like a viable and reasonable option, but I resisted. Instead I pruned and weeded and nourished and watered and tried very hard to make a go of it, once more. And what do I have to show for it now?
O glory! The climbing rose vine has bloomed!
The passion flower vine I planted in a euphoric delirium of optimism late last summer has managed to survive the drought and wrapped its capillary tendrils around everything within reach, including a potted bougainvillea.
And it has dozens of pods, some of which have burst into riotous flowers! (I’m told it will bear fruit later and simply cannot wait.)
One of the hanging baskets containing another bougainvillea has taken on a roommate, a flourishing strawberry stalk that must have hived off one of the two strawberry plants that were temporarily housed in the same corner of the patio. Strange bedfellows, no doubt, but they’re both thriving so well I’m a little skittish about a transplant yet.
I’ve even gone so far as to drive down to the local garden center in a heady flush of hope and load up my car with fruit plants — two plum trees loaded with petite white blossoms, a blackberry bush, and a blueberry shrub advertised as being ideal for warm climes and already heavy with tiny gray-green fruits.
Folly? Setting myself up for failure? It is possible. But right now, while the exquisite weather encourages me to spend more time out of doors than in, while I’m not yet used to the extra hours of daylight that surprise me like a gift each lengthening afternoon, I am simply going to water them all, and hope for the best.