Art imitates life or vice versa on the cover of the May 19 New Yorker magazine. That's surely me (though in different clothes) walking out of my house, face and arms lifted skyward, marveling at the lush life before me. My front yard right now rivals Monet's Giverny, especially if I remove my eyeglasses. Ornamental trees and bushes are flaunting their pastel bloomage, and the oaks and beeches are birthing lime-colored leaves so intensely brilliant it hurts the eyes. This is the idealized version of my little acre, and it really is beautiful at the moment. However, the garden's sinister side lurks just beneath the artfully arranged landscape. In truth, I would not be just wearing gloves (as does the figure in the drawing), but also a mask, a hat, long sleeves and insect spray. Frankly, the hazards of sun, spores, and bug bites make me wary of embracing too much Spring without donning a hazmat suit. I won't be cutting any flowers to bring inside, nor planting any petunias. Who knows what these beguilers might do to my rickety immune system. The soil is potentially deadly; the sun might provoke gvhd or nasty burns; the birds and the bees menace with their viral and fungal diseases. Beware Bambi bearing Lyme ticks.
I love to putter in the garden, about as safe for me right now as walking through a minefield. I want to throw caution to the wind and sit outside in a comfy chair as I write this post, but I don't dare. The transplant police are hiding behind the forsythia hedge chanting: hell no, you can't go!
Curses, foiled again.