On the way to my daughter's school, there's a square that's been cut out of a lawn, and in it, two purple pasque flowers are blooming. The square is probably six inches wide, just big enough for what it holds and no bigger. Gardens like this are some of my favorites. Are they gardens? I've been told that the words "guard" and "garden" are related, and that a garden should be about enclosure. Those pasque flowers aren't about enclosure at all. They're just a little present, tucked right up against the sidewalk.
My own garden is looking less demure than those pasque flowers right now. It was hot last week, and everything grew dizzyingly fast. The lilacs that bloomed in the heat are all very pale, and so are the blossoms on the weeping crabapple tree in my front yard. They've always been the color of raspberry stain, but this year, they're a white froth, and I love them much more than I ever did before.
The potatoes are coming up. The strawberries are blooming. I've done so much less than I would hope to, but everything looks beautiful, anyway. And healthy and good and a bit riotous. The chives are full, and I've been cutting them by the handful to blend into a sludge with salt and oil. I put in another quince tree, and three cherry bushes, and three clove currents, and a struggling juneberry that is sprouting along its stems.
Speaking of riotous, a pair of catbirds is building a nest in the blue spruce outside my bedroom window. The way they sing is so jaunty and such a jumble. They talk and talk all morning, then talk and talk all evening. Every year I think about cutting down that spruce tree. But I love those catbirds.