“I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs.” -Joseph Addison

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As I type this afternoon, my lower back reminds me of the food and flowers I installed in the yard yesterday, taking advantage of the break in the rain to rearrange some of the dirt in the side yard and back yard, to add some color to the atmosphere, and to signal to the birds that they, most of them, are welcome.

(How do I let the woodpecker who weekly hammers into our shingles know he has worn out his welcome and is uninvited to the feast?)

On the side yard, I have: strawberries, tomatoes, cilantro, chili and bell peppers, two types of cucumbers, leeks, mint, basil, and four marigolds to ward off snails.

The soil is teeming with worms and is moist for feet. It is ready to grow.

The back yard contains: blackberries, grapes, and blueberries. It has lavender, rosemary, thyme, chives, rock roses, roses, daisies, and ranunculuses.

The evening air, last night, was filled with the heavy scent of roses, a muddle of basil, lavender, and mint, and the musky undertone of upturned earth, the eau de cologne of spring.


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