“Sing a song of Spring!” cried the sunshine of the May,
And into bloom the whole world burst in one delicious day!
— Celia Thaxter
From our house, we can see the Isles of Shoals, where the poet Celia Thaxter kept her island garden. She must have known a spring like this, one that seemingly happens all at once. With a week of sunny weather, everything is indeed bursting forth. Even the most obstinate of plants are finally poking through, and we prowl through the garden taking stock. Things we’d thought we’d lost to winter, like the rhubarb and asparagus, are only now appearing, and we welcome them back like old friends. But it’s the flowering fruit that signal spring’s true arrival — first the fiercely brilliant quince (above), next the showy cherry, and then the graceful apple, all in breathless succession. If ever there’s a moment in the season we wished could be stretched longer, it’s now.