"Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?" Yes and no, depending upon who's asking.
There is an entire industry, advertising, proving you can sell anything to anyone. It's all in the packaging, both literal and figurative. Until I learned of the snows of spring, the snows of summer and the snows of fall, I looked at beautiful displays of art and thought, "Oh, no, I've got to clean that mess up."
It's equally, if not more, important to learn how to take in the beauty of an ornamental cherry tree in full spring blossom than how to prune it properly. Especially when the cherry tree is in peak bloom, with almost a seemingly equal number of blossoms on the ground as on the branches.
When cherry tree blossoms pack the branches and litter the ground, they become the snows of spring. It's a precious and ephemeral time. No date can be set for its occurrence, and there's no timetable for how long it will last. Some years it may last several days, other years just one. Rarely, it will not happen. It is dependent upon the weather.
Sandra Jonas, a professional landscape designer from Canada, was the first person to speak of the snows of spring to me. She was so happy, her eyes sparkling at the event she was witnessing, that I reverted to my 8-year-old self. I hid the fact that until her gushing enthusiasm, I had never heard of the snows of spring.
I was embarrassed at my ignorance of the snows of spring. But I instantly understood her joy. Cherry trees in full blossom, with blossoms floating in air and tenderly cradled on the ground, are one of the great joys in life to experience. Their beauty can change your outlook.
I still have to clean up my cherry tree's snows, of course, but instead of being a task for groaning, it's a task of thanks. It's also a time for being aware that I've made it another year. Compared to this, what is a mere birthday?
No Broadway cast can outperform a mature crepe myrtle gracefully dropping its flowers onto an already blossom-splattered foundation. At times, the blossoms fall straight; at others, they pirouette with the breeze.
With the crepe myrtle, we've aged ourselves into the snows of summer. Later, when leaves of gold, red and russet are providing more color than all of spring and summer combined, you can be sure you have landed in the snows of fall.
Learning what to do in your garden, I have discovered, is outweighed by what you learn to appreciate. This isn't a pass-along plant but a pass-along appreciation. Sandra's gift is too great to keep to myself. Please take the snows of spring, the snows of summer and the snows of fall, and pass them along.
Stone Mountain resident Tara Dillard designs, installs and writes about gardens. E-mail her at email@example.com or visit www.agardenview.biz.