Sunday, March 17, 2013


Scilla siberica
ProfessorRoush is haunted today.  Haunted by a 1971 top-twenty song by Carly Simon on the album of the same name.  Do you remember it?  Outside today, in a static landscape held hostage by the last gasps of winter chill, the lyrics played over and over in my head, Carly's syrupy tones warming the damp air around me.  Anticipation is said to have been written by Ms. Simon during her wait for a date with the formerly-named Cat Stevens, who is now called Yusuf Islam, although he was born Steven Demetre Georgiou.  Whatever the name of her date, Ms. Simon missed her calling because instead of pining over a wandering minstrel, she could have been writing for Spring-hungry gardeners.  Look at the beginning lyrics:

"We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway
And I wonder if I'm really with you now
Or just chasing after some finer day."

Rose 'American Pillar'

Is that not a perfect description of the gardener's thoughts in late Winter?  Visualizing the garden, not brown and stiff and dreary here at the end of Cold Days, but green and glorious in the coming Summer?  When I walked through my garden today, I wasn't really there most of the time.  I wasn't really talking to those naked rose canes, nor were my finger's caressing the soft bud of that magnolia.   I saw only the rose that will bloom here tomorrow, only the sweet-perfumed magnolia that will soon welcome the warm rains. 

'Mohawk' viburnum
And the repeating chorus of the old hit song keeps bringing us back to the present:

"Anticipation, anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting"

Sedum 'Matrona'

Why, Scilla siberica, are you keeping me waiting?  It's time to open those pale blue buds and color the old gray mulch with the reflection of the sky.  Come on, Viburnum fragrans 'Mohawk', come blow me away yet another year with that otherworldly sweet fragrance.  Daffodils, bring forth the sunshine that hides in your heart and release Spring with your joyful trumpets!


Sometimes, I wonder that old gardeners bother to enter their gardens at all during the dark months.  I know, right now, the glorious tulip that will bloom in this spot.   I know that from these tiny thick green leaves, a magnificent Sedum 'Matrona' will bloom to close the door on the Fall garden.  I know...I know...and yet I must see it again.  Or, as Carly put it: 
 "And tomorrow we might not be together
I'm no prophet, Lord I don't know nature's way
So I'll try to see into your eyes right now
And stay right here, 'cause these are the good old days." 

  Thank you, Ms. Simon.  These are indeed the good old days.

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