Artist to Col­lect: Mickie Acierno

Arabella - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - Cyn­thia Reyes is the au­thor of "A Good Home", a mem­oir of the ex­cep­tional houses in which she has lived since child­hood, and the life events that took place in them, www.cyn­thi­as­

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.

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