April at my house has been a jumbled lump of “laugh or else you’ll cry” moments. I guess it really started back in November when the new heat pumps came in. Remember that corner garden I put in last summer? When the HVAC contractors came in to install two massive new heat pumps (bye-bye gardening budget) they unceremoniously yanked out one of my three blueberry trees and squished at least one sage to make room. All that I learned about orderly gardening wasn’t enough to teach me about ordering proper boundaries for the routine maintenance (and then some) of HVAC units. Sigh. That disheartening event made me throw in my gloves, and ultimately abandon my unbundled blueberry root ball to several months of cold and snow. And you know what? I’ll be darned if it isn’t one of the few trees I had budding up at the beginning of February. Talk about tenacious. I have since given that little guy a new place of honor on the opposite side of my deck (although I suspect that still won’t be bribe enough to get any fruit out of him).
My bulbs did come in, sure. I watched as all the neighbors’ daffodils bloomed and then, right when mine started showing signs of life, some pure-evil punk squirrel started ripping off the buds and leaving them in the middle of my front walk. I assume it was a squirrel who, having watched The Godfather one too many times, was leaving me a warning about what squirrels do to gardeners who think they’re being smart about planting rodent-resistant bulbs around their precious tulips.
Then there was the pear tree. You gotta love the beautiful white show of pear trees in bloom, and thank goodness my neighborhood and city at large is filled to bursting with them. Mine has a split trunk and, apparently, split personality. The southwest side bloomed while the northeast side stewed; this week they’ve progressed to half green and half white, at least. And don’t even get me started on my cherry tree’s four blooms. Yeesh.
That’s the thing about gardening. Nothing goes the way you planned it. It’s an especially good lesson for me now, though, because there’s another little seed I’ve been growing all fall and winter, one that has filled every cold and dreary day with the brightest sunshine. Nothing goes the way you plan it in gardening nor, I remind myself, in parenting. In the case of both, I’m excited to take the good with the bad and the hoped for with the gloriously unexpected surprises. It’s going to be a long, wonderful and exciting spring and summer.