May is my favorite month for a number of reasons, but mainly it is about the flowers. Living in a world where we get bombarded by news of sad and shocking events, and life gives us more and more things to worry about, really taking the time to notice and admire the flowers everywhere promotes inner peace. It reminds us that the earth’s essence is good, and if tended to lovingly, it can bring forth a multitude of beauty. Though I admit that some gardens I pass by through my daily walks have such a breathtaking, continually blooming splendor that I can feel a tinge of envy also. Surely, to dwell within a space where such gloriousness thrives must be to experience joy on a continual basis in the warmer seasons, or so I imagine it should.
So, I’ve determined to try my hand at creating a little bit of garden delight for myself. Being a true novice with no claim whatsoever to a green thumb, I know mine has to be a simple, realistic plan within my time and budget constraints. Visiting the local nurseries, I must resist the urge for instant satisfaction and not succumb to all the lovely flats of flowers that seem to beckon me to bring them home. For me, this foray into a new pastime will also teach me about patience. For my budget, I’m starting from scratch and sowing seeds. I’ve researched the easiest annuals and perennials to start from seed, and keep reviewing a children’s gardening book I came across, which is actually perfect for me. I am encouraged by the daily growth of my morning glory seedlings and the teeny, green hint of hope I see in my basil pot. Otherwise, the rest remain looking like little pots of dirt along my windows’ edges…. Patience and good preparation will bring rewards, I tell myself. One morning soon, I’m bound to wake up happily surprised.
Meanwhile, each day I survey my yard with my packets of seeds and decide where each should go. A little at a time, I am getting small areas here and there ready with a few bags of organic soil. I bought so many packets of seeds that I decided to throw caution to the wind and also do a direct sow into the ground. Already, my imagination sees a charming dotting of wildflowers throughout my yard, against a colorful backdrop of zinnias and cosmos along my fence, and forget-me-nots in the shade. The salvaged rain barrel I moved to sit in the sun outside my kitchen door promises to be plentiful with herbs for my pinching garden. Who knows, maybe I’ll even get a few tomato pots later on in the season … It’s so easy to get caught in a wave of enthusiasm, but really it’s best to stay simple in the beginning. Still, I am excited to see what might come up!
As luck would have it, the Springs Community Presbyterian Church is having a plant sale this weekend that offer not only hanging plants, and a large variety of flats, but topsoil, cell packs, and much more to support your gardening needs. The sale will be on Friday, May 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the church located at 5 Old Stone Highway. It’s an easy and pleasant way to get your Mother’s Day gift without going out of your way, and you may be inspired to add some more color to your own yard.
News from the Springs Historical Society: They have two brand new booklets at the Springs Library on Springs history. “Maidstone Park” for $4 and “Springs School History” for $5 join the extensive collection of interesting, well written little booklets on local history available for purchase at the front office of the library, located across from Ashawagh Hall. For an additional $2, they can be ordered and delivered. Email Springs@suffolk.lib.ny.us for information. The Springs Library is a wonderfully quaint place to visit, well stocked with good books to borrow and gently used ones to buy at nominal costs. Visit www.springslibrary.org for more details and hours.
The Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center can be visited by appointment only during the month of May. On exhibit is “Nicholas Carone: The East Hampton Years,” featuring nine paintings by the artist who lived in Springs in the 1950s and was greatly encouraged by Pollock. The exhibit will run through July 27, and a reception is planned in June. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays tours are available on the hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and older. Younger ones are welcome for free. The Pollock-Krasner House is located at 830 Springs Fireplace Road. Call (631) 324-4929 to make an appointment. Visit www.stonybrook.edu for more information.
For those of us wanting to get back in shape before swimsuit season, Jamie Lerner is offering semi-private fitness classes in Springs at Harbor Studio on Fridays from 4 to 5 p.m. beginning this Friday, May 10. The cost is $30 per class, and she’s taking only four students each class, so don’t delay calling 631-604-1462, extension 4, to sign up.
Driving through scenic Springs this time of year makes me feel as if I am within a series of exquisitely resplendent paintings with all the vibrant pinks, yellows, and soft, fluffy whites that pop against the clear blueness of the sky, and charming country lawns cheerfully spotted with dandelions. By the way, I would love to make the acquaintance of our hamlet’s home gardens and their caretakers to feature for a column. So, I am encouraging Springs’ gardeners to please drop me a line. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, and happy week to all!