Friday, May 1, 2020

April's end


In a tearing, rain-flurried wind I went for a walk in nearby Green-Wood Cemetery on the last day of April. They have opened all their side gates - usually firmly locked - to allow people easier access to the calming space of hills and green hollows. Led by George Washington, civilian troops suffered a major loss here against the English in the Revolutionary War. He retreated to Manhattan.

We haven't seen Manhattan in months.

The side gate nearest us is just a couple of blocks away and this has given me an unprecedented appreciation of the park-like grounds. I knew them well, but now I see changes in micro-seasonal increments. And it has been a long, cool spring.


The wind was knocking fluffy 'Kanzan' flowers from their heavy branches.


And these peonies were so fragrant I could smell them right through my mask.

I have a new and improved mask: My friend Kirstin kindly gifted us two that she had sewn expertly. We have been trading. Her husband David gave us a very generous tip about morels. We searched and found them. Or, the Frenchman did. So many that we split them with David. He fetched them and we got masks in return. All at a suitable, face-covered remove from one another. He is the first friend I have seen in six weeks.


Preceded by crabapples, the redbuds are entering their peak of bloom.


And at lawnlevel ground ivy (Glechoma hedera) is gorgeous. It is usually unwanted but I wish people would recognize its beauty and stop spraying it. It makes lawns lovely. It's the ultimate steppable groundcover.

And you can eat it, too. Crush the leaves and add them to drinks and green herb sauces: they are intensely minty. or make ice cubes filled with the flowers.

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5 comments:

  1. Thank you - now I finally know what a redbud is (and what those pink flowers are every spring).

    I am sorry I can't take another one of your tours (I was promising myself one in Prospect Park this spring), but in the meantime, have you seen this? I am tempted to get out the chalk! https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/01/not-just-weeds-how-rebel-botanists-are-using-graffiti-to-name-forgotten-flora-aoe

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  2. So many beautiful flower! We have not started to blossom like that here yet.

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  3. Glad to see another fan of ground ivy - our lawn is plentiful with it. And! It attracts honey and bumblebees!

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  4. Hi Marie, this is a column (in Dutch) by someone living in France who discovered the PlantNet app.
    https://herberg.wordpress.com/2020/05/08/plantnet/

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  5. Good night from Poland. Also like to go to cemetery, to meet, pray and remember our loved ones. Cemeteries are like huge gardens, thats also what I like about them. There are lots of beautiful trees and flowers, its good for our souls. Godbless.

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