Vincent Van Bunny Makes Himself At Home

Strolling around the garden early this morning, camera in hand, I surprised Vincent Van Bunny (Surely there’s no better name for a one-eared rabbit!) hiding in a corner of the back patio. He bolted out, hopping straight toward me in a panic before veering to the left and under the fence into the neighbor’s yard a la Peter Rabbit. Time to spray that Liquid Fence again. I’m not too upset by his presence – in fact you can probably tell I get a kick out of seeing him – because after all these weeks I’ve seen no evidence that he’s eating my plants. As a precaution, I netted a lot of the vegetables, but even the unprotected ones seem fine. And believe me, I check them every day. Some would say obsessively. I justify that obsession this way: yesterday in my lunch salad I was able to include a handful of tiny, sweet Blue Lake green beans fresh off the vine. Yum.

Lots of new blooms to report. Darlow’s Enigma is another of the heirloom climbing roses we planted early in the spring. The flowers are tiny and sweetly scented, but a LONG way from covering the trellis by which they are planted.

The hydrangea is loaded with flower clusters this year after a particularly hard pruning last fall. The color, although perhaps not so interesting or intense, mixes well in bouquets. Like the lady’s mantle, it adds a note of the green I love as a foil to the other flower colors.

The Zephirine Drouhin climbing roses, nearly thornless as promised by J & P, are just beginning to bloom. They will eventually climb the trellising over the front and back gates.

Reclaiming its regular patch of ground is the bee balm (Monarda) I planted a few years back. Every year it spreads a bit further and by mid summer has gone all leggy and unattractive. But now, in late spring, it attracts the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds in abundance, more than living up to its name.

The baby sweater is nearing completion, especially if I decide to leave off the hood and make it a simple cardigan. I want to be done with it by the end of the first week of June, and since the only seams will be at the shoulder (three-needle bind-off: easy peasy and good-looking to boot) and fitting the sleeve caps into the armholes, that should be doable. After I wash and block it to soften up that Tessin yarn, I will return it to my friend who made the sleeves so she can sew on some cute and colorful buttons.

With my 50th birthday fast approaching, I’ve decided not to indulge in any age-related angst and simply to milk it for all it’s worth. Any friends reading this who’d like to take me out for lunch, dinner, or a drink, I’m saying YES to all offers. And I promise: no whining, no pity parties, no pulling my eyelids up or my neck down to ask, “What do you think? Eyes or neck first? Botox or collagen?” Nope. You won’t hear it from me. The women in my family have good genes; my paternal grandmother lived to 94. If I’m lucky, I’ll do the same, and I’ll be one of those in the scarlet high tops, whacking disrespectful children out of the way with my cane as I skateboard past them in the mall. Then I’ll climb (slowly and carefully) back on my Vespa and putt-putt back to the senior living community.

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