To not swoon into the glories of a Spring like this one you must be nursing massive allergies to the natural world, or are one hell of a curmudgeon. Either is pretty tragic, for there is manifest joy incubating in the Sonoma and Mendocino air right now, a green and fragrant world, alive and seemingly oblivious to all our human missteps. Up on the ridge, while we could always use more rain, our dry farmed orchards got a nice long drink and, for the moment at least, the redwoods can breathe a sigh of relief.
We are in the magical week (or two) after the cherries and pears have bloomed and the apples begin to bud, open, set fruit. Singular flowering wands on newly grafted trees as small as children, play hide 'n seek behind old timers planted last century by the Cassanelli's, their hollow trunks still producing surprising profusions of blossoms that twist and wrap around gnarled branches. Meanwhile, fields and forests surrounding the old homestead orchards go on about their glorious business guilelessly, with luxurious carpets of Ixia, Blue Dicks, California Poppies, Buttercups, Blue Eyed Grass, and borders of deep blue Ceanothus. The wildflowers will all be gone soon, part of their charm perhaps, but in this moment they bloom in tandem with the trees and our formal gardens, just starting to awaken for their 7 month run. Smoke Bush, Jasmine, Dutch and Bearded Iris, overwintered Snapdragons, Columbines, Mexican Mock Orange, Mock Orange (such a difference! Dan would say) Iilacs, Foxgloves, Snowballs, and Roses Roses Roses. Lady Banks climbs the dock at the pond, Cecil Bruner covers the outhouse, while all along the path to the great lawn old David Austins open and divinely dive into efflorescence.
As we fumble towards a future filled with so much uncertainty, it's important to stop and take measure, to anoint ourselves with a season like this Spring. The responsibilities attendant with keeping our beautiful little corner of the world humming can be as simple as paying attention, supporting the people who are working at things that make a difference. Or it can be a bit more complicated, but in a good way, like getting out there and making a difference. But respect should be paid, and we are most humbly paying it.
Attention now shifts to production for Barndiva: propagating, timing when to plant out, pest control, checking off Ryan's list of new varieties we as yet have no idea will thrive up here as much as we do. These images were all shot at sunset one day last week. Normally fog creeps over the ridges that ride in from the Pacific after the sun has set, but a magical backlit foggy light began drifting in as Lukka was making dinner. Dan and I shouted "Takacs Light!" in unison (Claire Takacs is a garden photographer we both admire, who claims to only shoot at dawn and dusk) and dashed out to glory in the incandescence. There is a line in the Mary Oliver poem The Moth I always return to (the poem and this line) "If you notice anything, it leads you to notice more and more." So get out there and fill your eyes to the brim with the beauty of green and flowering life beginning again. It's going to be a long Summer.