Tuesday, February 7, 2012

it's raining, it's pouring

We used to drive mommy and daddy crazy chanting that song over and over from the back seat of the car. Even now the words bring vivid pictures of the Santa Cruz mountains in the rain, and the musty cardboard smell of my dad's old green Chevrolet.

It is, finally, raining.  And while it is freezing in Europe (great photos at NYTimes) it is green here.
And blooming. Spring is early this year. Daphne pours citrusy sweetness on the air. A branch by my bedside soothes me when I wake at night. It's an all's-well-with-the-world smell. I remember when the plants were so tiny snipping a twig to bring in the house seemed an affront. Now there are three massive bushes, enough to cut and to share.

Hellebores hang masses of bells - from green-tinged white:
 to shocking pink:
to almost black. 
Remember when all black gardens were the rage? Me neither.

This daphne relative, Edgeworthia chrysanthea, looks (and sounds) like something from Fred Flintstone's garden.
Bright Icelandic poppies, planted in September, nod over blue violas. Planting in September really does make a difference; a neighbor (no, not you) has tiny green tufts with sparse flowers from recently planted poppies. 
Summer snowflakes (yes I know they're confused - do you want to tell them?) are blooming on short stems this year.
Clumps of daffodils brighten the slope under the ancient oak, its branches sweeping down to meet them. 
And all this just after the last iris just quit. 
Victoria Falls bloomed at Thanksgiving, at Christmas, and was still blooming two weeks into the New Year. A swirling wind finally wrenched off the last stalk, and I am iris-less for a few months. Last year they bloomed with the Ice Follies daffodils. This year the Ice Follies are starting to bloom now, and the sensible iris have decided to wait for warmer, more settled weather.

Me too.

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