Spangled Hollow


Spring sprays confetti through the hollow. Whitebud (Cercis canadensis alba), Redbuds, Spicebush spangle the woods and the dogwoods are just plumping out. We are blessed with one of the most beautiful and prolonged springs either of us can remember. Abundant rainfall, cool temperatures keep it all refreshed. The beneficence of the Earth.

The air is full of butterflies, spicebush swallowtails mostly, which lay their eggs on the native Lindera benzoan that lines the creek. Daffodil season still hasn’t spent itself, starting off in February with the cheery little ‘Tete-a-Tetes’.

There are a variety of colors and shapes beyond the iconic trumpet yellow ‘King Alfred’ types; both early bloomers, ‘Ice Follies’ has a rich white substance that makes a soothing companion. ‘Salome’, a mid to late small cup, has white petals with a delicate rosy pink cup; heavily fragrant ‘Geranium’, a late blooming tazetta, sports bright orange cups; ‘Ambergate’ and ‘Sabine Hay’, late mid-season, go bold with copper petals and bright red cups. Each year I get out my trusty Daffodils for American Gardens by Brent and Becky Heath of famed Daffodil Mart down in Gloucester and re-identify our collection.

Hoop Petticoat/Narcissus bulbocodium

The Summer Snowflake, Leucojum, is in its glory, taking up great swaths of the porch border, a vigorous, deer-proof bulb that can take a moist situation in sun or shade. Lovely for cutting, its pure white green tipped bells droop gracefully from dark green lush foliage. I love to put them in a large glass bowl.

Summer Snowflake/Leucojum aestivum

There is terrible trouble in the world, the Earth afire with hatred, death and disease among family and friends, yet we linger here a while longer in our enchanted hollow, a fool’s paradise perhaps, but our own.

Voltaire’ advice endures and none of us would be the worse for tending our garden.

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