As much as I love the chilly days of winter & the nights spent hibernating inside our warm (for the most part) little house, I have to admit that this time of year makes me look forward to the promise of Spring. Now, don’t get me wrong: I LOVE winter. I really, really love it. I love the sweaters, scarves, jackets, corduroy, flannel sheets, all of it. I have a body that was built for layers. Which reminds me, if any menswear designer can successfully execute an empire waisted shirt for men, I will buy one in every color. Again, I digress…

While I enjoy spending Sunday afternoons lounging on the sofa, watching Netflix like this…

Another episode of Charmed? Yes ma'am, I don't mind if I do...

Another episode of Charmed? Yes ma’am, I don’t mind if I do…

…I always look forward to spring in Atlanta. From the flowering trees on Cleveland Ave to the beauty of Piedmont Park, it is absolutely breath-taking. There is nothing like a Sunday in the Park, walking around admiring the flowers & trees (and people), lounging on a blanket on the green, or dragging (or more accurately being dragged) to the dog park by 2 extremely excited girls. One of my best friends once said that Piedmont Park was one of the reasons that he loved living in Atlanta most of all & I have to agree.

Springtime on Cleveland Ave, East Point

Springtime on Cleveland Ave, East Point

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One of several obelisks that mark the entrances to Piedmont Park

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Flowers blooming on the Free Nelson Mandela Monument

One walk around the grounds & you will know exactly what we are talking about. Am I in love with views like this? Yes ma’am, how could you not be?

Skyline across Lake Clara Meer, taken by my other half

Skyline across Lake Clara Meer, taken by my other half

view of Greystone, taken by me on one of our walks

Greystone & The Aquatic Center, taken by me on one of our walks

Does this mean that if big public parks full of attractive Atlantans is not your thing that springtime in Atlanta holds nothing for you? No ma’am, although I would question why you wouldn’t find some enjoyment in grabbing a pitcher of margaritas at one of the restaurants on the edge of the Park and people-watching. There is plenty of beauty to be found in your own backyard. One thing that really excites me about this year is that I will finally get out in the yard & begin planting & cultivating more of our “garden”. The rule of thumb that I remember hearing as a little Dandy was not to plant before Easter, but after that, planting was fair game.

While we know little about the families that lived in our home before us, I know that someone, at one point in the not-too-distant past loved her yard. Unfortunately, from what little I know, the last owner was ill for some time & not able to keep anything up. But, I still find surprises (and occasionally, surprises with an old house are welcomed ones)…

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The huge Heritage Azalea that blooms outside of the guest bedroom window; one of the first things I loved about this house

Sometimes surprises go unnoticed, like these irises that I discovered years after living here. Last year I managed to harvest them & some of the border grass, which is also of the iris family, from a small bed tucked in the back corner of the yard & relocated them to the area just outside of the kitchen. So, every trip to the composter has a little something beautiful to look at.

can't wait to see these bloom

can’t wait to see these bloom

another random iris from the backyard

another random iris from the backyard

Or these random blooms that spring up out of nowhere…

Flowering branch

Flowering branch

Birdfoot Violet, found blooming in a mess of overgrown bushes at the back of the property line

Birdfoot Violet, found blooming in a mess of overgrown bushes at the back of the property line

Knowing that 2013 was the year that I’d tackle the yard once & for all, we decided to do very little last year. And it killed me. There is something about connecting with the natural world around you by growing & planting that I really connect with. I suppose that’s the Southerner in me, but homes that have nothing growing inside & out make me a sad Dandy. So, at the very least, we had to do this…

marigolds are one of the few flowers I remember my Mama planting

marigolds are one of the few flowers my Mama ever planted

Our little herb garden 2012

Our little herb garden 2012

So, with longer days, warming temps, and a city full of flip-flop wearing Southerners, I await Spring with baited breath. Even if the snob in me hates when people wear flip-flops everywhere from March to October without the slightest thought of a decent pedicure (no ma’am). You can’t win them all & every good Dandy knows when to pick his battles…

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