By Barbara Falconer Newhall
I wasn’t looking. I was at the computer all weekend with my back to the world. When I finally took a bleary look out the window on Monday morning, I saw a front yard crazy with life — poppies,
lupine, pansies, armeria, rhododendron blossoms, tiny patches of hopeful isotoma, you name it.
Later in the morning, after putting in my time at the gym, I grabbed my camera and took a closer look. There was moss rock in its rugged glory, a bumblebee attending busily to the purple lupine,
a pair of shameless moths more interested in each other than the pale yellow pansies they lit upon, and a fearless robin studying me from the shade of our now-spent camellias.
Note to self. March might be the springiest, most exuberant month in the San Francisco Bay area, what with daffodils and California poppies blooming all over the place. But May is crazy prolific . . .
. . . Next year, don’t turn your back on that front yard of yours for more than a day. You might miss the lupine spiking from a cluster the size of your fist into a stalk the size of a baseball bat. Or the robin looking for earthworms in the rotting camellia blossoms. Or the blue-eyed grass opening its eyes to the morning sun.
Of all my plants I think I love the small, modest, tucked-away rock garden plants like the geraniums, armeria and blue-eyed grass the most.
But are they really my plants? Jillian the gardener planted them and fed them, and then they grew themselves. But I wanted them, and I love them, so I’m claiming them.
Hmm. I think I just came up with a metaphor for adopting a kid, which Jon and I did thirty-two years ago. That would be Peter, and I’m claiming him.
More meditations on nature at “Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder — But What If There’s No Beholder” and “Yosemite Rocks — And Sometimes It Rolls.”
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