I live on a beautiful piece of property, a large multi-acre parcel inherited from my wife’s family, one of the largest lots in my neighborhood, a mix of woods, vines, flowering trees, berry bushes, grass and weeds. And as each season walks its path from beginning to end, the natural wonders trade off in defining the time of year, from the green and waxy holly that brings a little color to the grey-white winter, to the trumpet vines that wave their orange cups to the August sun.
But late spring brings perhaps my favorite of these seasonal rulers. There is an old cherry tree that grows behind the massive holly on my lawn. It blossoms in early spring with many other trees. But decades ago my wife’s grandmother planted a rose vine under it, and today those vines have grown almost two inches thick. They’ve climbed the cherry tree, wrapping around its branches.
In mid-spring come the rosebuds, and as they peek out from behind the the cherry tree’s young leaves, because the tree’s own blossoms have fallen, they look like minuscule magenta pears. The whole tree looks as if it’s bearing pink fruit.
Then, the roses open and the tree fills with these neon, electric flowers, from the top of the tree to its lowest branches. The perfume of the roses makes a dense cloud around the tree that runs like a brook through the property when a breeze blows.
The rainy weeks we’ve had this year have added a wet earthiness to the scent, though the few days of bright sun we’ve had dry the scent each time, and then it’s classic rose, straight from the source, that floats past the holly.
Then, by the fist day of summer, the flowers have browned and withered. The cherry tree’s leaves are full grown now, and the fuchsia flowers disappear behind the dark green canopy.
So now it’s over, and the boysenberries are still green yet. They should have ripened, but the rain has slowed them down.