Well, Grand Theft Auto IV came out at the end of April, so naturally the garden has been shamefully abandoned while I obssessively explore Liberty City in all its glory. The game is magnificent -- visually it's stunning, the soundtrack ranges from jazz, to new age, to classic rock, to modern global; the voice-over work is second to none, the talk radio satire is nuanced, insightful, often acerbic, and of the very highest caliber. Some of the writing is laugh-out-loud hilarious. The fictional NYC world is immense and paplable -- people mindlessly walking across a street while they yammer into their cell phone, cops throwing coffee cups out of windows, even an online world of junk mail and scams. And the game runs as smooth as silk. A tremendous achievement.
And even on auto-pilot, the garden looked great this spring. There was an early heatwave here in the northeast that blighted my peonies and decimated my iris -- but they looked good while they lasted. I'm trying to plant more hydrangea because of all the shade in the yard, but I'm meeting with mixed results. The tiger lilies on the hillside were beautiful again, but early and short-lived because of the heat. The real winners this spring were the groundhogs. I'm so happy for them! They stomped all over my previously magnificent fern just so they could get a few mouthfuls of the fiddleheads. Ooh, and they also utterly destroyed two echinaceas that I was really excited about. Those groundhogs are truly a delight. And the smell! And the flies love them! Their charms are inexhaustible.