May 3rd, 2004



In the courtyard outside the daycare, blossoms are peeking pinkly among the unfolding new leaves of the twisty apple and pear trees. Spirea bushes shoot lacy arms out and daffodils cluster, talking amongst themselves. A tiny tabby cat runs purposefully across the street and disappears under the red currant bushes. Forsythia bonfires are roaring soundlessly over garden gates. Spring is burning down the house.

It's also burning me down. I can't remember the last time my allergies were so bad. All this beauty is pure torture because the longer I'm out in it, the more my eyes itch, and the more I sneeze. I'm supposed to be doing a 5 kilometer walk this evening through Pildamms Park in Malmö and the thought of walking for an hour through all those blooming trees and grasses is making me want to stab my eyeballs with a fork. :(

Added to my discomfort is the slightly bruised knee I managed to give myself yesterday while kneeling on paving stones. I'm put to shame by my 75-year-old mother-in-law. Märta came over just after 1 p.m. yesterday and we, along with Martin in the wagon, walked up to the plant nursery to take a look. Martin had to walk home because we filled the wagon with plants. Märta had also brought several tubs of different plants, ground cover and flowers for us from her own garden, and we spent the rest of the gorgeous sunny afternoon creating a masterpiece in our front yard. There are lots of different kinds of ground covers and spreading plants, decorative grasses, sedums, lewisia, a Chinese lantern, and a bunch of kärleksört*, which means literally "love herb" in Swedish.

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I also de-potted my hosta plants and planted them in front of the house in the little space under the kitchen windows. Since I'm about as far from a natural gardener as one can get, I like plants that I don't have to worry about, that just come up each year and look nice. :) At least now I feel I've made a start on the garden and actually contributed something to the outside of our house.

Anders and Karin didn't get home until 6:30 so no dandelion photos today. Keep your fingers crossed that we get another sunny free day before they go to seed. Karin was super thrilled, and had a blast at the racetrack. She got to sit in a racecar and also got a hug from a real live Swedish gladiator (Plexus) who autographed a postcard of himself for her. She slept with it, of course. :D

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