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a spring walk in suttons bay with solomon's seal, jack in the pulpit, dogwood, lily of the valley

My great weekend treat is to take my coffee cup into the garden for discovery. The visions inspire the voices of past experiences to rise to the forefront of my mind's eye. A poppy plant has reseeded in a spot that will be too shady for it and hide its blooms from view. Some phlox have escaped their bed for the sedum plot. And I hear the owner of the Edgewater Inn in Cleveland saying, "Any plant in the wrong spot is a weed." 

I planted a small cedar and hemlock that were entwined years ago. The cedar has now overtaken the space and the hemlock is no where to be seen. "Which one do you want to win?" I hear my brother asking as he watched me plant it. "Whichever one does." And I wish he were here to observe the answer. 

The garlic is coming along nicely; I'm watching for the development of the skapes, which always makes me think of my colleague Jeff Smith, remembering how his first days discovering them have inspired his current passion. 

As I walk, I try just to enjoy spring's progress and not get stressed by seeing all the chores that need doing, like the leaves that need to be raked from choking the emerging hostas, the daffodil bulbs that need deadheading, the fallen branch that needs to be cut up and moved and the euonymous bush that needs to be moved … oh shoot.

Solomon's Seal, the real deal, surrounded by grape hyacinths, variegated hostas and a jack in the pulpit and forget me nots in the back ground. 

A little late, a Lily of the Valley raises its bells to spread perfume across the garden.

Jack in the Pulpits look prehistoric and magical to me. Where I grew up these were rare. I now have a dozen or so of these captivating beauties in a variety of stripe and colors. 

Bleeding hearts. Fairy lanterns?

I planted this dogwood years ago as a very young sapling. This is the first set of buds and my trophy.

In "Howard's End", Mrs. Wilcox (Helen Redgrave) is given to walking round the house in the garden. Walking round the house … 

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Tags: dogwood, northern michigan, solomon's seal, spring, suttons bay

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