Take your vitamins

Full sun on the Bosquet daffs yesterdayI got a full dose of vitamin D yesterday – I think everyone here did. It was our first short-sleeve warm sunny day and it seemed like the world was out taking deep sips. I know that I should have been suited up in a wide brimmed hat with plenty of brand new sunscreen slathered on every exposed inch but covered up was the last thing I wanted to be (though modesty precluded a striptease). There’s plenty of debate between getting our vitamin D from the sun vs. getting skin cancer from the same exposure and call me a vitamin D junkie but yesterday I got my fix and went home with an (un)healthy glow. Erythronium (trout lily/dog’s-tooth violet) blooming in the North GardenWhat is it about the sun this time of year that can make you feel so great? It was softly warm and totally energizing. I’ve read that vitamin D isn’t linked to mood – though after years feeling S.A.D.D. in the dimly lit Pacific Northwest I have to think that it’s doing something to improve my outlook – maybe just knowing my calcium absorption rate is improved makes me feel livelier…

Whatever it was (the sun, the heat, the birds’ chatter) made me feel ready to go,go,go but we have reached that limbo stage in spring that is actually perfectly timed with the soft days. The gardens are tidy and ready and we’ve got a couple-week lull before the frenzy of spring and early summer planting. It’s not as if there aren’t chores to take care of right now but they’re not particularly taxing yet (no pun intended for those of you against the deadline). Now is when we concentrate on getting the greenhouse inhabitants groomed and ready for their eventual move outside (the Camellias are already out!) and we transplant hundreds of seedlings – more fastidious, deliberately sedate work is hard to come by. If you haven’t started a feeding schedule for your houseplants, now’s definitely the time. Give them their vitamins on the next sunny day along with a thorough check-up and groom session. Scilla sibericaAnd get yourself outside (as if you need convincing!). But if you’ve finished spring cleaning the garden (have you finished?) and are energetically wondering what’s next, take a walk. So much of gardening is noticing and there are definitely times of year when we get so focused on the doing of gardening that we might (I speak for myself at least) forget to notice. The peepers are back; The ospreys were right on time; there are bees in the scilla – have you noticed? I also love (and you know this about me already – now is when I start to repeat myself) to look up close at everything this time of year. There’s something so amazing about the little things.

Red maple haze (Acer rubrum ‘Red Sunset’)

From a distance the red maples are a hillside haze of red – up close they are garnet ornaments.

Red maple flowers

In the lull of the next couple of weeks, take your vitamins in the form of daffodil solar flares (even if daffs aren’t your thing, don’t they make you feel a little bit happy?) and a skyward gaze at the buds in trees. Yesterday’s warmth encouraged a few more daffodils to open – the Bosquet is not completely carpeted yet but its throw rugs are gorgeous. The weekend weather is forecast to be pretty dirty but don’t let a little rain and wind stop you from getting out and coming here. We’ve got displays in the house (check out Bessie’s awesome hats) and a great view into the Bosquet from the living room.

Daff cam 4-11-08