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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spring Rush: Peonies, Roses, Exquisite Taste

The hot hammer of summer has suddenly hit, after a long, cool spring. The pool is open, the garden is drying out. Our tiny bluebirds are fledging, with little hints of blue in their miniscule spiky feathers.

But mostly I just want to rhapsodize about my driveway bed: daffodils and hyacinths and lenten roses give way to iris and candytuft, then dianthus. This year the clematis jackmanii is a seamless drift of lavendar, hundreds of blooms draped across the fence and rosebush. The rugosa rose did its untidy pink thing, and now Tom's grandmother's white climber lights up the morning,a symbol of North Carolina tidiness and virtue, compared with the trashy-looking (that's why I like it) Fourth of July--a blotchy pink/red/white variegated rose. There goes the neighborhood.

The alliums, still a few iris, and the tiny Fairy rose are all out, but nothing, absolutely nothing can compare with the glory of the peonies. Double handfuls of clear pink, pale, magenta, white, ruffled, nodding--the perfection of the ideal of an aspiration to beauty. Almost makes me long for a calm room, polished table, lace, a bit of silver, crystal bowls, pale walls, drapes--almost, for a couple of days, anyway.

Most days, though, give me a messy farm kitchen, dirty boots just inside the door, Lulu under the decidedly unpolished table, newspapers scattered around the green chair, and one of those little Fourth of July blasts of color in an old Coke bottle, next to the pile of seed catalogs and some round wire things that go in the pond filter.

And the driveway bed at least twice a day.

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