It's Spring; ask nature. Our back garden is my Little Eden; ask my husband. In Little Eden I can get 15 minutes of private Vitamin D every day. In Little E, I can have a morning coffee or afternoon iced tea break. And in Little E, I can work and weed, and time flies and the dirt on hands and sweat on brow do not bother.
I have sat intentionally alone in this broad back yard surrounded by over 120 plantings my husband did on his own, mainly for privacy hedges at the back and side yards. "You told me where you wanted them," he says lightly, when I mention that I was of little help with that big project several years ago. He leaves a lot of the designing to me, but we talk every item over...and over...and over. It's one of our favorite spring things to do.
When I have sat alone in Little E, in sun or shade, I have often looked up into the sky, over the top branches of the tall Norwegian Pine (here long before house-builders came); it once oversaw a large Maryland farm. I look into the blue, cloud-spattered sky, with the occasional over-flight of a passenger jet, leaving or returning to the Thurgood Marshall-Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) or the whir of a police or Medevac helicopter...maybe from Fort Meade or NSA.
When I have looked up into the sky, as God is my witness I have often given thanks for this little green place of peace that is home for Little E. The back garden is my favorite place on our one-third of an acre within commuting distance of our nation's capital. It is where the old trellis bench now boasts a third and heavy-blooming year of free-spreading wisteria. Where the box-woods grow so slowly they look almost the same every year, yet I can spot the fresh green that gives the growth away; where spirea plants relocated from the front garden get the attention they and their pinkish little flowers deserve; where yellow and deep, bright roses bloom up the hill; where my husband has put an outdoor table with umbrella.
The table is good, yet it's the umbrella that I most appreciate: it protects our heads from the seemingly dozens of Gingko tree seed-pods that drop all the time at this season. You can hear them "Pop!" or "Plop" now onto the umbrella. Yet, I still tend to duck to avoid their hard-shell contact. And, 'though they don't hit us on the head now, they will roll to the ground to find a way to bore into the soil and spring up as goo-gobs of little Gingko seedlings. We're on to the stems of the fan-shaped green leaves popping up like, well, green popcorn trees; we'll pull up more this year. Fortunately, they pull up smoothly and without much resistance. Nuisances we can get rid of in an afternoon...until more "plops" hit the ground.
The thing is...although my LIttle Eden has its upkeep challenges (and you know what I mean, if you do any gardening), it's worth every workout by hand or hoe.
I hope that my recent effort to start a short stairway from back porch down the little hill toward the tall grasses will work out. I've put two large and long green bags end-to-end atop the lawn grass and pinned them down with rocks gathered from around a few now-self-sufficient little areas of crepe myrtle trees and plants. The steps will leave a little less grass to mow, and Andrew, whose team takes care of grass mowing, might be glad of that.
Spring seasons go by so fast. I don't want to miss any early morning coffees outside, or any afternoon breaks for Vitamin D, or any evenings looking up at the stars from underneath the Gingko tree, that "devil tree," as a neighbor once named it. It's part of my LIttle Eden, full of memories of days when our daughters pulled on a swing whose ropes were tied to a Gingko tree-limb, the big rocks where one child called urgently for her missing dog, and the lawn area where teenagers once earned their own Vitamin D tans.Ah, Spring in Little E!
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