Wednesday, April 28, 2021

April Renewal

Every year, when April arrives, I debate with myself whether I love April as much as I do October. I'm still not sure! The world wakes up from winter, and puts on a fresh, green coat. Every flowering tree bursts into bloom, and bulbs pop up everywhere. It's hard to keep up with it all. 

April starts out slow. Crocus and daffodils are still around at this point. 

Then there are some pretty little minor bulbs to enjoy. I doubt that anyone else even notices them, but they're mostly for my enjoyment anyway. 

Soon, there are flowers everywhere. 

Another big show for April is the flowering trees that bloom just about everywhere. This year in particular, the world was amazingly full of them. It actually made me gawk while driving around town. Here at my house, it starts with the ornamental pear street tree, then my little baby lilac, and finally my beloved redbud tree. Once upon a time, we had three crabapple trees that would be in glorious bloom this time of year. But they've been attacked by scale insects, and they only put out a few skimpy flowers. We're treating them, but they seem too far gone to recover. We'll see. And by the way, that baby lilac bush? It's actually a good 10-12 years old. It never gets any taller, but it does put out plenty of fragrant flowers. 

But what I really wait for all month is the arrival of the tulips! I just plain love them, always have. 

After all that, something strange happened. It snowed, on April 21st! I've never known it to snow that late in the spring before. We knew it was coming, so I covered up many of my plants with sheets and towels, hoping to save them. Amazingly enough, there was no real harm done. 

The funny thing about snow is that it can actually provide insulation from cold temperatures. I know these pansies aren't really amazing to look at, but what makes them special, is that I planted them last fall! They spent several weeks under the real winter snow, and it was plenty cold too. But they lived on to bloom again in the spring. 

One last story to share about an April renewal of sorts. Last fall, an autumn storm blew my rose arbor askew. It was close to ten years old, so not really surprising. But it was cold already, and I was overwhelmed to think how I was going to extricate it from the two roses, and put in a new arbor. So we left it to sit there all crooked through the winter. I'm sure the neighbors were puzzled. Finally, I decided that I could replace the old wooden arbor with a metal version, by tearing down the old one, and scooting the new one up under the roses. The wood was rotten, and came down easily. But putting the new arbor up wasn't easy, and we certainly got scratched by the New Dawn rose on one side. The next day, another storm arrived, and the brand new arbor was now askew also. Talk about aggravating! Out of frustration, we left the new arbor to sit crooked for a few weeks, while mulling over a solution. Finally, I decided to first remove the thorny New Dawn rose, which was a project in itself. It wasn't very healthy anyway, and on the other side is a Zepherine Drouhin rose that's gorgeous, fragrant, and thornless. Then we figured out that we could pound long rebar poles into the ground, and place the new arbor onto the poles. So far, so good! It's been several weeks, and it's still standing straight and tall. I know it looks a little lopsided without a rose on each side, but there is a clematis that should fill in the empty side. 

And so the world came back to life in April. You know what else is renewed? My life! You see, I'm now fully vaccinated, and able to move about the world with a little more comfort. I finally got to hug my family, I've had a haircut, been to the dentist, and even renewed my license. If you haven't gotten your vaccine yet, I highly recommend it. And thanks for stopping by my blog!