I’ve heard them say it’s the bad trips, not the good, that you remember best, and over the years they become some of your best memories… so maybe someday this trip will rank more highly, but for now its chilly wetness ranks it closer to the bottom. At one point my snowdropping buddy stated the day reminded her of the windy, frigid visits to upstate NY and the Temple Gardens open day, and she could be right. In my defense our local forecast was decent, but I foolishly assumed it would be even milder and just as dry 100 miles South. Silly me.
As I was driving down my better sense knew this trip was too short-notice and not up to or normal standards, so I dropped the hint that I would be fine doing our traditional park visit alone, and Paula must have looked at the thermometer and thought ‘hallelujah!’
“Yes” she said, “That’s fine, maybe I’ll go next week”.
The park we visit hasn’t changed in years, but this year I noticed some cleanup. Brush removed, new paths, general cleaning up. I’m glad to see some love going in, but also have to admit a little sadness. Paths of bare earth cut through swathes of snowdrops and winter aconite means many bulbs were destroyed. Decades of neglect built the show, I just hope a cleaner and neater future leaves a place for them and remembers the history of this plot.
Ok so I really wasn’t all that sad and I did spend a good hour or so examining hundreds of flowers looking for something special so it was still an excellent visit, but the real star of my trip was Paula’s garden. I swear there were twice as many blooms as I remembered. I love when I pull up somewhere and get that stupid grin and start talking to myself about how cool it looks. Sometimes I even do that with passengers onboard, and probably get concerned looks, but with each passing year I notice less and less, and care? Not even 🙂
It was so refreshing to see all the color filling a garden. On the ride over I was desperately scanning the neighborhoods looking for anything but it was never much more than desolately neat lawns and mulch, or way more evergreens than even a cemetery would want. Occasionally there were some snowdrops or a hellebore, so I guess there’s hope, but inspiring? No…
As usual we stood out in the cold examining every drop, commenting on how well it grew and where it was from. There were also witch hazels, winter aconite, and snowflakes to discuss. It’s great seeing a garden which comes alive while the rest of the neighborhood sits brown and dead.
By the time we slowly shuffled around the far end of the garden the icy drizzle had switched over to a rainy drizzle, and when I suggested it might be more polite to skip the other garden we had scheduled, Paula seemed fine with that. We were both ready to warm up and dry out. I even passed on an offer to dig one or two trades… tell me that’s not a sign!
I guess I’m not as feverishly desperate as I used to be. It’s still a thrill to go visiting but it’s more and more about the people, and then coming home is less and less of a let-down. There are still a few (actually plenty) of snowdrop treasures I covet, but give me a sunny winter day with bunches of average white ones surrounding me really makes me feel as if I’ve arrived…. at least in MY mind 🙂
Have a great weekend, and let this be your **last warning** that pictures from my own garden are up next!