Artist to Collect: Mickie Acierno
Extraordinary Beauty in Ordinary Things written by Brett Anningson
a few seconds." "I don’t understand," he says even more innocently. But it sounds as if he’s trying not to laugh. "You wretch!" I can’t help laughing. "You nearly got me with those gorgeous blooms!" "What gave it away?" "I know your clematis." I’m triumphant now. "I know that particular clematis of yours, and it doesn’t bloom this early in the spring!" "Well…" he says in that teasing voice I know so well. "It was worth the try. And it nearly worked." He pauses, asks timidly: "So … is anything blooming in your garden this morning?" I consider cheating. Then I decide I’ve got the moral high ground here and want to keep it that way. After all, I’m a gardener and gardeners should have a certain code of honour. "No. Nothing blooming. But very, very close …" I pause. "So, tell me, Les, would you have confessed?" He laughs. "Of course." "I will never know!" I laugh back. As it turns out, we both get our first blooms the next day. Three crocuses in my garden. A few early tulips in his. This year’s Bloomin’ Bulbs Competition is a draw. We decide that our rivalry over who gets the first blooms is foolish and childish and unworthy of such mature adults as us. And we immediately place a bet on which of us will have the most blooms by the end of the month.