The black-leaved elder (‘Black Beauty’) is flowering in pink. The blossoms are brightest when they just open, and then fade towards a softer, creamy pink.

The aquilegias didn’t like this place any better than the Slope (a.k.a. The Slope Previously Known As The Slope Of Weeds). Almost all have disappeared. The white bleeding hearts likewise; I planted a white one here and now I cannot even find it. The Polygonatum and Brunneras and Lamiums are hanging on but far from thriving.

Lady’s mantle is in great shape; so are the new Bergenias that I bought last year. And the Galium is spreading like a weed. It’s hemmed in by the house and the steel edging that separates the flowerbed from the lawn, otherwise I’d worry about it taking over the whole garden.

During the warm days of summer, we keep the glass doors towards the deck and garden open all day long, and well into the evening, too.

The garden is clearly outdoors, and the living room is clearly indoors, but the deck in between is neither, a no man’s land that melds the indoors and the outdoors into one.

In the evenings they separate again. The later it gets, the darker and cooler it is outside, and the less we cross that threshold. The doors no longer feel like the doors they are during the day, but more like a giant window or balcony. We do not go out; we let the outside leak in. The chilly evening air, the light breeze. The song of the blackbirds. The smell of everything green.

This is what most of our lawn looks like. Dry and dead. The parts I didn’t mow are doing somewhat better, but I do hope we get rain soon.

I love this plant. I love most things in our garden, but this one especially. Just looking at it gives me a warm tingly feeling.

Poppy, near bursting.

I love the smell of lilacs.

I stop several times on my way home to smell the lilacs flowering along the streets. Some don’t smell much, but the ones I think of as “real” lilacs with the “real” lilac smell are intoxicating.

It’s too hot to eat breakfast in full sun on the deck, so we moved the furniture out onto the unmown lawn.

It’s not even mid-May yet and the weather is as hot as it normally gets in high summer. Last year we had no summer; this year we almost skipped spring and went straight from winter into summer.

The cherry trees in central SpĂ„nga are already done and pink petals are piling up in small heaps on the sidewalks. Now it’s our trees’ turn.

The hedges I planted last year are coming along nicely. A few bushes look like they almost died, but even those are getting new leaves.