With the apparent arrival of spring throughout the town and its magnificent surroundings, that being Mountainside, Summit and the Watchung Reservation in particular, I ventured about outdoors to experience it firsthand while it was still fresh in its glory. Starting with the Watchung Reservation, it was magnificent to see the leaves out their first day after being buds. Then, there were the flowering bushes and trees everywhere I drove about: azelia, Bartlett pear, and magnolias. And then there were the flowers, both wild and cultivated, and I cannot say enough about them. At a club luncheon with friends on Thursday, a women recommended taking the time to stop and see the field of daffodils at the Reeds Arboretum in Summit, a place I drive by all the time. I realized how foolish I was never to stop and sit for a while, so I made it a point to later that very day. As that silly saying goes, “Take time to stop and smell the roses”.
I had been there before, actually for meetings and programs in the old mansion that has been preserved for such purposes, but never actually to enjoy its many gardens. I thought that was rather a dumb omission on my part, too, always thinking, I must find the time to drive by this way and drop in for a while…… but never do. I found my effort to have been well worth it. Yes, the many thousands of daffodils were still in bloom, and according to the nearby plaque, all 30,000 of them, in a geological bowl shaped formation caused by a glacier. How beautiful a vista they made! Seeing all those blossoms in one place reminded me somewhat of the Presby Memorial Iris garden in Montclair, NJ, not too far away. My husband, Bob, who grew up in Montclair, used to take me there. We both had a great love of irises and had them at the first house we shared together, on Oak Tree Road in Mountainside, before we had our borzoi and lived on Summit Lane. It’s too early to visit there yet, about another four to six weeks for irises.
Perhaps I can retain some of the splendor we achieved in the Oak Tree Road gardens here. It will be difficult because I am doing it alone. Yes. That word again. Alone.
My landscaper can bring in the mulch and other soil supplies, but for the most part, I will be on my own. I find when I am in the garden working, still in the weeding phase, the borzoi are nearby. I know they would rather be out walking somewhere, especially the Watchung Reservation. Tresor would like to be running loose, looking for another dog to fight, disobeying me by not coming back when called. Jelly just wants to walk by my side like the Lady she is. She knows how to present the best possible picture of her canine self.
Everyone Jelly meets falls in love with her on sight. I take her on long walks with me and she meets people wherever we go. She also gets taken to the Scouting Field in Watchung Reservation where she runs and plays off leash with a Dalmation named Lazarus. He is a constant there and her best friend. I leave her there with his owner, and she brings her back to me hours later after she and Lazarus have had their long and happy canine play date.
Afterwards, it is the dogs’ dinner time and they eat heartily. Jelly may not always eat her breakfast, but she always eats her dinner. The days are moving along more the way I would like them to of late. The departure of winter is an enormous help for me. I am able to do more varied things and enjoy my surroundings and especially the borzois I love so much, my beloved Tresor and Jelly. Moreover, in addition to the enormous weeding project outdoors, I am tackling the job of interior, or shall I say, mental weeding, trying to get rid of all the bad thoughts and memories of the winter before that disturbed me so much.
I would like to add one more thing before ending, that on Monday this week, April 17, my Jelly was seven years old. I am so lucky to have her. She is a comfort to me in this world that I never believed could be possible. I can never thank her breeder, Frances Wright, for letting Jelly come to live with me two years ago. I am forever in her debt.