Saturday, April 25, 2009

Doing A Line

OK, I'm just going to admit it. I've been a little down lately. You know, spring has been so slow in coming, the groundhog ate all my tulips, and I'm just a little out of sorts.

I was really craving a little something to lift my spirits, and only one thing really does the trick. But my normal dosage (a hit here and a hit there) was no longer enough. I needed something more powerful.

I knew what I had to do, even though I'd never done it before, and I didn't know exactly what it would be like. But I craved a bigger fix, so I passed through a new gateway and did a whole line!


Seriously. I do get a little impatient waiting for spring, and the only cure is little doses of spring floweres wherever and whenever I find them. I showed you my hyacinths earlier, but now the daffs are starting to bloom in my garden. I have a few happy sunshine-yellow clumps in my yard that verily lift my spirits.

This shot of yellow greets you near the front door.

Here are some on one end of the house...

... and here on the side.

But these few clumps just weren't enough. I needed more yellow sunshine, shot straight through to my soul. So my friend Carole and I went to Nichols Arboretum to see what Ann Arborites call The Daffodil Line, but whose official name is Imagine/Align. (Yes, complete with the slash; you remember me mentioning Ann Arbor being artsy, right?) According to the website of its designer, Susan Skarsgard, Image/Align is a "site-specific, community-based art installation, mapping thought and inspiring contemplation." The half-mile long line was planted with 10,000 bulbs by Skarsgard and 150 volunteers in fall, 2003.

So, we entered through the gateway, walked a while on a path up above the valley below until...

...we did the line.

There are actually three lines: two long lines that connect in a right angle and one shorter line in another location that runs uphill and backs onto a cemetery. The line in the two photos above, taken from different angles, runs north-south.

This is the other long line, running east-west.

Here's the corner where the two lines intersect.

And a closer view of one of the long lines...

...and of the shorter line in another location.

It was worth it, even though you get some weird hallucinations when doing a line, like this huge and somewhat misshapen squirrel!

And then you not only see something you don't expect to see in a park at all, but you feel it is sending you odd, incomprehensible messages!

And then it gets even weirder because tree bark starts to grow metal sections right before your eyes and numbers appear on the metal!

And, most mind-bogglingly of all, I swear I was passed on the trail by not one, not two, but at least a dozen people running past me, all panting and shiny, even though no one was chasing them! Some even had alien-looking devices strapped to their arms or chests!

Despite this high, it was clear that the lines had gaps. A few were due to natural variations in bloom times and survival rates, but more were caused by the actions of (excuse my French) complete dillrods. One large portion had been mowed and in other areas, daffodils had been trampled to the ground before blooming or had been picked; most never made it to vases, though, as many were thrown where they were picked or farther afield in the grass and paths. That was a bit of a downer and made me glad I have my small hits of daffodils at home.

And this is the end of the line for our magical daffodil ride. I hope you enjoyed your trip.


  1. Clever title today Monica, got my attention. lol Interesting how they planted those Daffs in straight lines, goes against the basic principals of garden. Kind of cool! :)

  2. Delightful post and a joy to read! That is for tweeting it out, too. Nothing g like a subtle bit of drug reference to spice it up. Back to Twitted to RT it to the masses.

  3. Monica, I must've been high the whole time I was in the Army-folks always ran right by me and no one was chasing them either! Or me and I was attempting to run! Really! Gee-makes no sense to me:)) Too cute! Weird weird lines of daffodils. Glad you shared them with us.

  4. What a wonderful blog. I know the shadow of the black dog and I understand that what is needed is special outing/happening to shake the devil off. And this looks like the type of experience that would work wonders. Hope you are feeling regenerated, regards Fay

  5. Ps looking forward to more garden musings.

  6. What a fun post! I get 'high' on daffodils too. Amazing idea at Ann Arbor.

    Is that a Spring decoration on your door Monica? It looks great. I often wonder about putting something to celebrate the different seasons on the door.

  7. Indeed I did enjoy this Monica ... your post was a good fix (did it rain all afternoon for you also :(

  8. Ah, Monica, I'm a little slow tonight--too much fresh air and hard work today--I didn't catch the "line" bit at first:) But I am also naive:) What an interesting sight to see the line of daffodils; I keep thinking how much work it would be to plant 10,000 bulbs! But I actually like yours at home better--much more natural. Glad to see you have some spring blooms at last!

    Enjoyed the Chicago skyline photos; I had to read the comments to find out what that water tower was...a water tower. And thanks for your comments on my last post; you gave me a laugh!

  9. Monica, That was a fun post! Yes, I'm believing more and more that Ann Arbor walks its own line. ;-) The line of daffodils was quite interesting... as well as the variety of sights you shared. I do love the sight of daffodils in my own yard. Hopefully yours are helping to lift your spirits!

  10. I have never seen anything like that ever..a line of flowers..Pretty. I am sorry that you have been feeling down. It's hard not to feel down as the whole country is in a mess. Hopefully things will get better. At least it isn't fall heading into winter....hugs..Michelle

  11. PS, Monica I just thought - this might amuse you and lift your spirits too!

    Giraffodil Poem

  12. Interessant anzusehen und viieel Arbeit das zu pflanzen. Das Gelaende sieht aber sehr schoen aus, um dort spazieren zu gehen oder eben auch zu laufen wenn einem danach ist:)
    LG, Bek

  13. Monica: I can understand feeling a bit down because Spring is taking so long to come along! I miss the abundance of blossoms that flourished in the southwest. I enjoyed this walk along the line..and what a JoY for you to see your own daffodils smiling back at you!!

  14. Hi Monica....Love your front door, so pretty....and the daffs fit the scene perfectly...

    A line of to me.....fascinating......

  15. Monica, Love your post! You are too funny and will get all manner of 'hit's to your website! Beautiful daffs Rose, I think yours are much nicer! I wish the groundhog would relocate! Can he be relocated? Sometimes I think it would be easier to move from here then deal with the clay soil...maybe your groundhog and my soil are things we have to accept!
    Yikes! Gail

  16. Yes I did have a good trip - the guide made all the difference.

    I prefer your cabals of happy little sunshine. I have a thing about straight lines and those would have been much nicer if they where actually laid out by a drunken sailor.

    Still it's a shame to see discarded flowers - with no chance to get back in line for whatever they were waiting for.

    The squirrel is a little nutty looking. I'll never buy anything with 'secret sauce' on it. And I'm not going to stand there and be counted as one of the tree's followers. As for the runners - the grim reaper will catch them sooner or later.

  17. Oh what a wonderful wonderful idea. I want to do a line, and I could too, having 5 acres. We have done an 'S' shaped rose bed, a long line, only wiggly! Oh I'm so excited. Thank you!

  18. Dafs are such a wonderful thing in Spring! We fully understand that your long Winter was finally getting at you. By now things must have speeded up in your garden too.
    We're sorry we didn't comment lately, mom always read the post but didn't feel like saying something. Silly mom! We like your blog a lot!
    Purrs, your feline friends Siena & Chilli

  19. Ah, now we get it: Doing a line! That's naughty!
    : )

  20. I was rather concerned when I read the title of this post
    Monica:) Some glorious daffodils. Near to us there is a two mile so strip of daffodils planted on the side of the road - it was a picture a month or so ago :)

  21. Groovy, man! That daffodil stuff really gets me where I need to go! ;-)