Karen is my neighbor, so I know we are both experiencing the spring-as-herald-of-summer- coming-on in its full Midwestern lushness. The grass is tall, violets are spreading, dandelions are rampant. Karen and I both like dandelions; they are pretty, and you can eat them. Our other neighbors are not so fond of dandelions, so it's best to dig them out or mow before they get to the wish-puff seed stage.
Of course, most of the other neighbors use pesticides and lawn services. We do not. Rabbits love it here. (And I expect a return of praying mantis, Karen!) The lawn service guy for the neighbor on the north now scoots some of his little pesticide balls into our side yard, but it's OK, and he hasn't killed any lily-of-the-valley, oh so sweetly blooming right now, along with the mountain bluets.
Blue hosta and two-toned hosta are thriving, their leaves jubilant, raucous. Clematis is opening on the fence, while the bleeding heart is dripping to earth. On Mother's Day weekend I'll choose a few more blooming plants for the garden beds--from a Kiwanis fundraiser garden event that will send kids to camp--and then just try to keep up with the weeding and gentle maintenance of perennials. Next, if they are as astonishingly accommodating-to-the-printed-human-calendar as last year, day lilies will start opening, right on time, starting June 21, the first day of summer.
Wasn't there going to be some talk of a book? Yes! Prodigal Summer is set in Appalachia, with plants and bugs and coyotes. I fondly recall a big fallen hollow tree. The neighbor/pesticide issue weaves into the plot. Here's a book you can judge by its cover (pictured above) and its beautful endpapers, illustrated with moths, including the lovely green Luna.