Having waited through that miserable April for May to come how is it possible for that longed-for green month to slip through our fingers so quickly? June of course is a pleasure with its lovely long evenings of golden sunlight but those hurrying footsteps of time are reminding that we will soon have the longest day of the year.
That cold April has certainly changed the blooming and fruiting times of a great many plants — some sooner and more prolific like my Japanese and Siberian Iris and some much later like the peonies which are still green marbles and the pesky rosa multiflora still in bud instead of perfuming the air. It’s one claim to glory.
I thought that the oak trees which border one of our roads also were delayed but then I noticed little tattered pieces of green leaves on a woodland path. Ah, the dreaded winter moth at work. They have denuded every fruit bearing tree and bush as well as all the oaks and my weeping cherry which is still so bare that I don’t believe it can come back. As for the blueberry and apple growers in the area I do so hope their bushes and trees will recover in time to bear.
A friend asked me about some very tall, white-flowered plants which looked like Queen Anne’s Lace on steroids. I suspected that I knew what they were as Betts Woodhouse, a remarkable artist and teacher, had shown me a plant at the end of her driveway. “That’s what did Socrates in” she said, pointing to a very poisonous member of the parsley family — hemlock. Not as we might have thought, our beautiful evergreen tree. If you want to see it and can make the drive to the southern end of Long Highway, they are on your right as you make the curve.
If anyone decides to leap over a fire on the solstice let me know as I would love to see you doing it.