Stop! and smell the flowers.

I feel fortunate to be able to walk around my neighborhood.photo-38 Five months ago I wasn’t sure I would stand again, let alone walk. I’ve put my Fitbit back on and am able to walk about 7,000 steps a day. Of course my goal is much higher but for now I feel almost like a walking miracle. We were fortunate this year to actually have spring weather on the first day of spring. As I walked I couldn’t resist snapping lots of lovely flowers.

This is a happy post. I almost have a spring in my step and Mother Nature definitely has one in hers.photo-35

There are lots of pansies that survived the winter and they start to seriously thrive in March. Later, the hot weather will take its toll. This is a basket on my front porch. My daughter gave it to me. She must have known this is my favorite pansy color.

One of the first signs of spring is the blooming of the Bradford pear tree. I have mixed feelings about this tree.photo-25photo-70 There’s no denying its lush loveliness after a long winter. Our neighborhood is rife with these flowering wonders which means the distasteful (to me) smell is everywhere and if I stay outside too long I’ll get a headache.

I noticed as I strolled that there were a number of dandelions in the lawns that are left to their own devices. Like mine.photo-73 The seriously manicured lawns won’t allow weeds to grow. Their green four-inch grass is so thick that neither the owners nor the grass would ever allow such a pariah to set up shop in their yards. Personally, I like the “dandies” in all their stages. I still love to blow the seeds so they will land where they may and grow more yellow beauties.photo-80

My yard isn’t really a lawn. It’s a random collection of grasses and weeds that give it a wonderful green patchwork effect. I have planted a spring green (chartreuse?) ground cover under my pear tree and as you can see here, it’s starting to creep into the grass to make its own statement. I realize that my neighbors probably don’t like my kind of lawn but I feel the same way about their “perfect” chemically treated ones.

I saw violets on my walk. Some people consider this plant a weed. photo-68I don’t. Nor do the owners of this little clump. See how carefully they placed the mulch around it? The violet was Eleanor Roosevelt’s favorite flower. She had lovely violet wallpaper on the walls of her room at Campobello. I had the privilege of visiting there some years ago.

I think my favorite photo for the day is this whimsical winged pig flying through the pansy bed. I often use the expression, “When pigs fly!” photo-41It says so much with only three little words. If someone is so naïve as to ask me if I would ever marry again that is my answer. Would I consider going back in to the classroom and teaching? When pigs fly!  Would I ever buy another two-story house? When… You get the picture.

More photos from my yard. A white camellia. Yellow daffodils. A red camellia. photo-77photo-75 photo-76

Today I mowed my lawn…okay, my weeds.

Her lawn looks like a meadow,              And if she mows the place,             She leaves the clover standing           And the Queen Anne’s Lace.             ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

I could tell you this is my lawn and you might believe me, but I’d be lying and I would eventually start to worry about deceiving you.  This is my neighbor’s yard (I’ll call him Left Neighbor).  I think it looks pretty good even though there is a good-sized weed pictured here.  Or is that just a clump of grass on steroids?  Those pretty little pink blossoms did not grow there.  They fell from a tree on my side of the boundary.  I don’t charge him a decorating fee. ; )  Actually he’s a fairly easy-going type who doesn’t spend a great deal of time on his lawn; and he doesn’t seem to care that mine is more weeds than grass.

Here you have a photo of my yard (I don’t think I’m allowed to call it a lawn.) before I mowed today.  I just love the little yellow flowers.  I don’t know what they’re called but they grow profusely when there’s no grass to impede them.  Notice they are thicker looking and quite nice at the top of the picture.  I’m thinking that the neighbors have just enough distance to get the best view and they surely must love them.  If you look closely you can see some spots that look brownish.  Those are little yellow flowers gone to seed which means I’ll have even more of them in the next cycle.  Then maybe they’ll fill those other little brown spots which are bare ground.  Given time, Mother Nature will take care of all obvious flaws.

Now here is Right Neighbor’s lawn with its lovely river birch which drops little dead branches on to my side of the invisible boundary so that I have to pick them up before I can mow.  I would prefer pretty little pink blossoms like the ones I donate to Left Neighbor’s lawn.

I mentioned that Left Neighbor is laid back and doesn’t get overly excited about lawns and boundaries.  Let me introduce Right Neighbor who is the opposite.  She pays great attention to boundaries.  Shortly after she moved in she told me one day that I was mowing on her side and I didn’t need to do that.  Last summer she put little marker flags across the yard where she perceived the boundary to be.  Her lawn is beautifully verdant and the part of my lawn that adjoins hers is the most green and lush part of my yard because it reaps the benefit (?) of her lawn-service chemicals.  Doesn’t it look nice?

I don’t mean to make RN sound like an ogre of some kind.  She isn’t.  In fact I’m quite fond of her.  She’s the same age as my oldest granddaughter.  Young!  She works very hard to have an ideal little family and a perfect home.  She is the one who takes care of the lawn–always.  And she wants it done right.  I’m sure she doesn’t want any little yellow flowers on her side of the boundary.  I think her thick, strong grass will choke them out if they try to migrate.

God bless the American Dream and all its dreamers!