Why gardening makes you happy

The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. — Allen K. Chalmers

snowdropI read that quote in a short piece in the latest Funny Times by writer Tom Bodett of Motel 6 fame (“We’ll leave the light on for you.”) The ever humble Bodett was trying to disavow that he is the source of those words, even though it sounds like something he’d say.

I couldn’t help thinking that Chalmers must have been a gardener. Happiness is tough to find this time of year for gardeners in this neck of the woods because there really isn’t much to do. But it’s not totally out of reach, because there is still much to hope for as the plants we love begin to awaken.

Bloom day scans: Mugshots and Dragon Day

dragonLack of time and not much happening in the garden leaves me with just a few sloppy scans I squeezed in this morning. A forced narcissus from inside and an eranthis about to bloom outside — about the only thing outside that I can count as a bloom.

I have to remind myself that it’s only Dragon Day. Actually, Friday was Dragon Day, the last day of classes before spring break at Cornell. Spring break is a euphemism around here. Officially, spring is still a week or so off. And it’s at least a month until we start getting consistently spring-like weather in these parts.

Basically, the annual Dragon Day ritual at Cornell has the first year architecture students crafting a large dragon that they parade across campus. They are met by a phoenix built by the engineering students. Everyone ends up back on the Arts Quad where they burn the dragon. (This video from 2007 shows how crazy and creative this event really is.) Then everyone goes home for a week. Actually, judging from the tans of returning students, many go someplace much sunnier.

We still have the annual Skunk Cabbage Run and Tax Day (which brought us a Nor’easter last year) to punctuate spring before we really get cranked up for gardening season.

View dragons from the last 10 years, and see more coverage of this year’s Dragon Day in the Cornell Chronicle and Ithaca Journal.

narcissus and eranthis