Morning Rain Brightens Gardens for Spring

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Rain may not brighten your day, but I was positively enthusiastic about it this week.  After enough winter, it seemed like a sign of spring and a chance to step into the Gardens.  My shoes clomped across wet pavement and I relished the sensation.  When I hit a patch of ice, I nearly went down: even looking directly at it I couldn't see it.  If it hadn't been for a friendly warning I would have been totally unprepared.  Spring is coming, but it comes unevenly.  We as gardeners should use the time to see our plants and our places.

Rain changes the colors around us, revealing or hiding in a different way than the snows of winter.  Dust can be washed away literally, but also dull surfaces become luminescent.  Grey melts to color.  Its a great time to see how much color is in your garden.  The Schlessman Plaza is the same orderly design, but with a subtly different unity.  The pond seemed to be at the edge of overflowing, but the path was still clear and the reflection plays with the colors in the final photo.  And the O'Fallon Perennial Walk, with its red brick stripe of a walkway, shows off more of the tans and greens than I expected to see.  Each of the gardens has its own charm, different than what I'd have seen yesterday.

Another unexpected pleasure: a flock birds darting from side to side of the Perennial Walk.  They lit out and disappear into the hedge.  It takes a little quiet time before  they reveal themselves: a flock of robins.  I don't know if its a sign of spring, or if they were looking for a sheltered place before the weather comes on more strongly.  But they're welcome to enjoy the rainy morning in the Gardens.

The gardens are so rich with opportunity I can't help mentioning a few experiences: for photography, Scott Dressel-Martin is leading several classes, including a trip to San Francisco that will be fantastic for those lucky enough to register by the deadline.  For plants that will take Colorado's variable weather, the popular Never-Fail Perennials with Harriet McMillan or Best Long Blooming Perennials with Lauren Springer Ogden.  For Garden Design, Curtis Manning is bringing his perspective on Living Alfresco while the botanical illustration program will teach you an artist's touch and a scientist's eye.  And for sheer fun, involving both colors and moisture, Ellen Hertzman, long a blogger on this site, will teach Natural Egg Dyeing.  The rain may dry quickly in this climate, but a garden experience sticks around through any weather.

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