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Garlic Breath

I took the winter cover of leaves off my garlic beds today. Every year I uncover the garlic around the first of April. I’m not sure if that is the correct time to do it but it is when I do it. The first shoots of the plants are usually starting to come up through the ground then.

This time of year is always a transition time. Today the temps were in the mid-50s and there was not a cloud in the sky. There was not much of a breeze so it was quite pleasant to be out in the yard. April in Upstate New York can be a roll of the dice with the weather. The snow is not completely done but you better also be careful if you are out in the sun too long without covering. The April sun can put a bit of a burn on your skin if you are not careful.

I like to be out in the yard cleaning up from the winter in this weather. I wonder what it felt like for the leaves that I am raking up to have been covered by snow for the last several months. Did the leaves feel lonely under the snow or were they comforted by the fact that they had bunch of their fellow leaves under the snow with them? Were they cold or did they huddle together for warmth? Are they jealous of the buds on the trees? The buds that are soon to be new leaves to take their places on the branches.

There is a big lilac bush in my backyard that has started to bud. I was on a ladder pruning some of the old branches while looking at the new buds. The lilac bush blooms in full in May. By the beginning of June it has passed its peak time and the fragrant smell has passed. Candle makers will try and capture that lilac fragrance but they can never seem to get it quite right.

Meanwhile, many of the other flowers in the backyard are coming into their own in June. The lilac bush is one of my favorite flowers in the yard and every year I wonder if there is a way that I can keep it flowering past the beginning of June. Every year I am surprised and a little disappointed when the lilac has passed its bloom.

Maybe this is the year that I pay attention to the lilac bush from now until its flowers pass. The month of April is generally a month for yard clean-up and not always for watching flowers bloom. If I can remember to go out to the back of the yard and watch the lilac bush, I am going to be given an early spring present.

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