Many, many years ago, I used to live in a climate of four distinct seasons. In that world, March was a month of lush restraint. The bare-rooted essence of trees and shrubs was still evident, their knotted branches straining with the thrust of growth waiting just below their stems and bark. The first bulbs pushed through the cold, snow-melt damp soil beginning the pageant that would last until the following October.
I have been away from so many of these plants for so many years that I can’t always remember how vibrantly they appear in the pre-equinox landscape. For a couple of springs, I got to go home to my house on Lummi Island. I have only seen it twice in spring in the 10 years I have owned it. Would you believe it if I told you that about an acre of the pasture is covered with naturalized, yellow daffodils in late March and early April? My neighbor also raises sheep and the newly birthed lambs are strong enough on their legs, by this time, that they can spring straight up in the air when they frolic in the ocean-side air. Today reminded me of those country images.
We had a GPS scavenger hunt. Our hosts gave us some town names, intentionally sequenced to keep us off the interstate highway. In our tiny car, not the Fiat pictured, we motored up and over knoll after knoll. The land is used is such a different way to the farmland I am familiar with. The estate is built on the top of the hill and the surrounding hillside and valleys are completely planned and planted. Some properties look completely denuded, still. Some are beginning to show a shadow of green and some are already vibrantly green.
Nothing grows without permission on these intensively controlled farms. Grape vines, olives trees, fruit trees are all pruned, and clipped, and trained to expend their energy only on the productive side of their natures and not a whip on self-indulgent growth.