What’s grand and glorious about the Pacific Northwest could not happen without the presence of rain, lots of rain—rain that sneaks in on a wind’s whisper or commands attention as a charging front headed toward the coast. Either way, I’ve grown to love the rain in all its forms. Whether sprinkles, mist, deluge or drizzle, there is still a comforting and hypnotic beauty during the region’s 9-month sodden sentence (as seen below in my chicken yard netting). Then again, by the end of winter, my mood is challenged daily by a combination of dark days and unrelenting rain.
Truth be told, I love sunshine, too. But on occasion, too many sunny days can faze me as an uncommon and unexpected anomaly that leaves me anxious and burning the candle at both ends. Every minute of dreamy blue-sky weather must be appropriately apportioned to the tasks at hand. It’s a nice problem to have.
And then one April day it happens, the sun finally makes an appearance on the westside of the house, for just enough time for me to smile on the reality that the pendulum is swinging back toward a more equitable amount light.
I used to think of myself as more of a summer/autumn guy—eager for long days, deep shade and buckets of flowers on my tables. Now I welcome spring in a new way, one that took a decade of living in this house to appreciate. The slow process of putting one’s stamp on a place reveals itself in surprising ways and for me that has been my need to plant spring bulbs and flowers throughout my property.
There was never a grand plan to have my garden show off the riches of spring, but time unveiled such intention in my action. Every fall I’d plant a smattering of bulbs and flowers as a ritual of putting the garden to bed for the winter. (Deer-proof daffodils and narcissus played heavily in the rotation.) Each spring I’d be surprised and delighted by what a little effort in autumn could provide. And even better, sometimes nature would step in with her own devices, and paint a swale or meadow with the ease of a artist’s brushstroke (as seen in my back-porch bluebells). I never argue with Mother Nature; she seems to know what she’s doing (with the exception of brambles, nettles, knotweed, English ivy, moss and Scot’s broom, said the bitter gardener).
I’d like to share some of the beauty with you; it’s wild and fraught with interlopers of the aforementioned ilk: weeds and brambles, but that just reminds me of who’s really in control of this palette and canvas. I may think I have the upper hand in this collaboration, but spring just smiles and presses on.
Sunny Day Bonus!