I was in Portland a couple of weeks ago. It’s a once a month thing. Dave looks at a construction project and I get to walk around a nearby neighborhood with killer flowers. In late March it was tulips and daffodils and grape hyacinths. I took dozens of pictures.
On the April trip I was just going to enjoy the cool, quiet morning, no photos, but before I had walked a block I had my cell phone out taking shots. Bearded iris, delicate stems of lavender, and trees with blossoms I couldn’t identify.
I think my love of flowers came from Mom. She has been planting and nurturing them as long as I can remember. Sweet peas along the back fence on Fairview. Geraniums in the front planter on Windsor. Most recently, dahlias and larkspur in her backyard in Colorado.
But I’m not much of a gardener, especially since I moved to New Mexico—content to leave the landscape as is. My ‘yard’ is mostly natural with native plants, piñon and juniper, chamisa and prickly pear. A couple of patches of iris, a few scraggly lilacs, and a forsythia bush, planted by a former owner, survive, and in wet years thrive.
I’m perfectly happy to enjoy other people’s labors: the rose garden at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, hanging baskets filled with trailing petunias on the Plaza, and my neighbor’s morning glories that have migrated to my side of the fence.
I keep track of what is blooming in the city and where, so when Mom visits I can take her on the tour. Last month we drove around admiring the decked-out trees: peach, pear, redbud.
To my surprise I found tulips blooming in my backyard when I returned from Portland. I planted the bulbs long ago in an old whiskey barrel. They’ve never done much, but this spring some mysterious combination of snow and sunshine awakened them. For a week I have enjoyed their beauty wishing Mom was here to see them.