Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring in the mist

I walked to a nearby appointment in the tire-swishing cloud. This is the last you will see of the zelkovas until fall. Bye-bye zelkovas.


The Long Island College Hospital was looking fetching for a nanosecond as its pear blossom bloomed above its dumpsters. Actually, the zelkovas are their gift to the neighbourhood, so they are not all bad. Their plants are in better shape than their buildings.

The tilt of Joralemon Street as it cobbles downhill to the water and the BQE is decorated by sidewalk plantings and flower boxes and this budding viburnum.

Does a professional gardener live here?

The Japanese maples hang in bloom. A dreadlocked and friendly mail carrier resting on a nearby step said, Hm hmmm: Gonna be a wet wet spring. Hard winter, wet spring.

I believe anything mail carriers say about weather.

In South Africa, we say, Postman. 

Norway maple? 

The crabapples (and lilac) are the end of April. April closing up shop for a whole year.  Glorious month. She doesn't draw the shades and turn out the lights, though, she leaves the building blazing, windows thrown open, shutters flung wide, curtains flying, suitcases spilling silky underwear for all to see.  When April leaves, she makes a point.

There is a garden tour of Brooklyn Heights next month.

Next week, in fact. Hm. The tickets are $40.

Boxwoods and pansies. Not what I would have come up with, but rather fetching.

Cobble Hill Park. 

Time for tulips.

The magnolias are shedding.


Today Vince and I will be sitting beneath spent cherry blossom and flowering dogwoods in New Jersey, in Silas Mountsier's beautiful garden, having a birthday lunch for Elizabeth Scholtz. Betty turns 90 on Friday. The silly royals are holding their wedding on the wrong day!

And last night I heard the small, morse cries of songbirds again, over the roof, into the dark, calling, and I felt a great hollowness in my heart, for their fragility, their tenacity, their spirit, and their long, long journey, in the night over a great city to a place whose location is somehow imprinted within them, and felt keenly how I was unable to assist them on their way. There was no fog, just stars, but just hours before Vince had told me how small birds had swarmed around the Empire State building at night, last year, flying around and around, trapped by the light. It is haunting.


  1. I'm so jealous. We had hoped to tour Silas Mountsier's garden on Saturday when it was open for the Garden Conservancy's Open Days program but punted because of the rain. "There's always next year": the gardener's mantra.

  2. Actually, Brian, alittle bird told me that you will have another chance to se the garden this year. I'll keep you posted :-)

  3. Marie

    Ek het nooit geweet NY is so groen nie. Dis so mooi om soveel natuur in die stad te sien.
    Ek het iewers anders gelees dat NY in April 'n MOET-sien is. Jou blog bewys dit reg. Mens kan jou entoesiasme en liefde vir die plante aanvoel.
    Dankie, jy verskaf nie net plesier nie, jy voed my sommer op in die proses ook.

  4. Compare:
    "April is the cruellest month, breeding
    Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
    Memory and desire, stirring
    Dull roots with spring rain…."

    "She doesn't draw the shades and turn out the lights, though, she leaves the building blazing, windows thrown open, shutters flung wide, curtains flying, suitcases spilling silky underwear for all to see. When April leaves, she makes a point."

    You and TS Eliot! You are April-glass-full-to-brimming. He was clearly April-glass-half-empty.

  5. Great photos, Marie! The city at it's best.

  6. Spilling silky underwear trumps my lacy skirts mention!
    Not that it's a contest.
    And the lime-y maple picture? Wonderful complement with the tail lights pointing up the red of the bricks and the flower stems.

  7. You always capture beautiful moments.

  8. What a lovely viburnum! And don't you just love the steps with all the planter boxes? Made me want to take a book and just set up shop there for the day.

  9. you are a poet of the stroll.

    T.S Elliot not much for April -by any name.

    The PP circle crabs are blooming full, right now! Where's my camera, why am I driving?

    Not as specific as the postman, but my gut says rough weather warm season.


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