Mary came with our house. At one time she presided over an intensely overgrown yard choked of all daylight by dozens of unpruned trees and a 6 foot privacy fence. She stood underneath a sickly noble fir that the previous owners had brought back from a hiking excursion in the Cascades. Our neighbor told us that they were wont to engage in this sort of activity and our jungle-like front yard proved it. I have described before our unrelenting siege in taming the profusion of plant matter that we inherited with this house. The overgrown vines, trees and weeds were formidable adversaries, but the darkness was the real enemy. The lack of sunlight was depressing, but it was also very damaging. Even Mary's noble fir had hardly a needle clinging to it when we moved in. Had the previous owners exercised some restraint in their plant gathering expeditions, many of the organisms in the yard could have been salvaged. But as it stood, we had to clear out truckloads of debris. What we were left with was blessedly sparse, but beautiful. Three gorgeous japanese maples survived, as did a collection of quaking aspens and about a million bulbs.
My apologies to all you snowbound folks across the country, but our weather here in Seattle has been fantastically warm and uncharacteristically not soggy. The bulbs have popped up and are starting to bloom. I am hesitant that I might jinx it, but for now I am thoroughly enjoying it. And it seems as if Mary, from her new perch at the base of our chimney surveying the front yard, is enjoying it as well.