The first sign of summer

Every spring, along about early May, I start planting annuals.  Because our backyard gets so much shade, I tend to plant impatiens, year after year.  There are a few places in the yard where they do particularly well.

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I could vary it up — and maybe one of these years, I will — but for now, I love the combination of colors: the snap of the red and the bright punch of fuschia, the pure white to balance it out, the soft baby tones of pale pink and lavender.   Whether they are in a ray of sun or in the shade, these colors positively glow.

Patting the soil around the little plants, I always feel like I’m participating in a beautiful ritual.  I finish and straighten and look around my yard.  Even though there are patio pots still waiting to be filled and hydrangeas that have yet to bloom, I feel as though the garden is coming to life again.  It’s just waiting: for the boys to have sprinkler parties, for family dinners on the patio, for me to sit outside with a notebook on a warm evening, celebrating the sacrament of a summer’s night.

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