The Inn at Perry Cabin

Five years ago, just about now, my men and I took a trip back East to look at colleges for my oldest son.  He was a junior in high school, a boy in every sense.  

This May, that same son, now man, will graduate from college and I am left wondering, marveling really, where the time went.

Wasn't it just months ago, that on that very trip, we stayed at the enchanting Inn at Perry Cabin? (A stately colonial mansion, now  five star resort and spa on the Chesapeake Bay along the East Coast of Maryland).

I think of that place often, especially in the spring, more for the gardens and flowers, of course, than for the exceptional setting, service and accommodations.

The Inn had its own full time gardener...who tended the surrounding landscape and ran the greenhouse, where she forced countless pots of bulbs to adorn the common areas and delight the foremost among them.

What struck me most of all about her care-taking was the very TIDINESS of the gardens and outside spaces.  Even in blustery March (albeit a more temperate, maritime blusteriness than our Oklahoma version...), when temperatures were still quite cold and the bulbs, perennials and shrubs were just beginning to show signs of breaking their winter hibernation.

The hellebores were untucked from their bed of fallen leaves, the emerging bulb shoots uncovered as well...with all signs of winter burn and brown foliage removed...leaving only timid green shoots....appearing even greener and more pristine against a fresh protective back- drop of dark, moist mulch and compost.

Every spring since, I recollect that crisp garden impression, of tidiness, contrast, enhanced loveliness and garden spring giddiness.

I am content to leave the fallen brown foliage and debris to protect the garden in late fall and winter. But now... when the tulips and pansies and crocus and daffodils begin to show signs of eagerness...responding to longer days and warmer air...

I don't want their spring renewal and beauty diminished in any way. Not by brown leaves, tattered foliage, broken terra-cotta and branches...or errant Halloween candy wrappers and water bottle caps that invariably appear during the clean up process.

This weekend, I concentrated on just this.  Exposing, unearthing, discovering...clipping and sprucing and mulching, these

late winter miracles.

Coming up for air and warmth and light.

Now, a tidy home,

and an anxious gardener,



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