Okay, my favorite moment in the garden is September, when the summer vegetables are still going strong and the fall crops are starting to come in and there is never a better moment all year to cook gorgeous meals.
But second best is this moment, which has nothing to do with dinner: the moment when the hybrid tulips, the species tulips, the euphorbia polychroma, brunnera, and white violets are all going at once.
Of course, if you want a big show of tulips in May, it will cost you. The 'Purple Prince' tulips and whatever consort I choose (this year, it's 'Princess Irene') are really annuals that have to be replaced every year. Completely convinced that more is more, at least where the Prince is concerned, I've started buying him in boxes of 100 from Van Engelen, the whole arm of John Scheepers.
Fortunately, some parts of the show are free: the white violets and euphorbias are seeding themselves like mad. I know that many people consider these common violets a weed. I do, too, as soon as they finish flowering. But right now, these tiny pristine flowers add the most piquant possible contrast to the big colorful tulips.