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Friday, February 28, 2020

'And now before the eye can focus - Crocus.' ~Lilja Rogers

Early crocus are out, but the flowers stay tightly closed in today's cold wind. March blew in a tad early. I'm also admiring snowdrops, miniature iris, and pussy willow. If you've never grown pussy willow, give it a try. The catkins are a joy, but the shrub must be pruned back. We've had a milder winter overall in the Shenandoah Valley and spring is heading in early. No objection from me.
'First a howling blizzard woke us,
Then the rain came down to soak us,
And now before the eye can focus -
Crocus.' ~Lilja Rogers
'Oh, Spring is surely coming
Her couriers fill the air;
Each morn are new arrivals,
Each night her ways prepare;
I scent her fragrant garments,
Her foot is on the stair.'
~John Burroughs, "A March Glee"
Minatare iris in a sheltered nook.
Meadow larks again trill on our farm and the barnyard geese fuss over nesting sites. The sweet bird calls and irate squawks are among our earliest signs of spring. I've pottered in the garden every day while the weather's mild. These unseasonable balmy spells spoil me, and I wonder what's up with the weather when the cold blusters back. What do you call this, then? I demand. February. Oh, right. Thought it was late March. Or April. Grumble.
'In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.' ~Mark Twain
If there comes a little thaw,
Still the air is chill and raw,
Here and there a patch of snow,
Dirtier than the ground below,
Dribbles down a marshy flood;
Ankle-deep you stick in mud
In the meadows while you sing,
"This is Spring."
Christopher Pearce Cranch
A Spring Growl.
Scant snow fell this winter, but ample rain, thank heavens. If I went for a walk in our meadow, I'd squelch through mud, seeking rocks and clumps of grass to leapfrog and escape the mire. As I never venture there alone, it's a joint effort, and gives me a sturdy daughter or grandchild to cling to when I step out of my boots. In neighboring fields, the greening winter rye glows like an Emerald Isle and is harvested in April or May.  
'In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.' ~Margaret Atwood, "Unearthing Suite," 1983
Snowdrops below.
I've smelled of earthy things lately after clearing flower beds and sowing more annual and wildflowers seeds here and there. I count my wealth in seeds. Doesn't everybody?
I've also tidied the garden and worked wormy composted manure into my pea row and where I planted chard and pak choi, but not for the radish's. If the soil is too rich, they will make all tops. The spinach I planted last fall and protected over winter with a floating row cover is ready to pick. I'll uncover it permanently soon, along with my roses that look like tent city.
The plants were lured into leaf too early during a mild period and I rushed out before the last freeze to throw sheets, blankets, old curtains, and beach towels over them. I even considered adding my bathrobe and winter coat to the coverings. I've left these in place until the weather moderates without this crazy waffling, and it looks awful, but I'm not having my roses knocked back. I've looking forward to their blooms for months. To that end, I've ordered two more climbing roses from David Austin's wonderful selection, and a floribunda and hybrid tea from Jackson & Perkins. These are destined for my much loved Memorial Garden that I put in last year and am continuing in memory of my dear brother, Chad, my beloved father, and my mother-in-law whose garden this first was. The garden means more to me in a spiritual, as well as physical, sense than I can describe. A sacred place. And this year it shall be glorious.
I say that every spring, and I mean it. Part of the wonder and magic of spring.
'The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.' ~Bern Williams
Image of geese from several years ago. 
My books include an emphasis on nature. For more on me and my writing, please visit my Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Beth-Trissel/e/B002BLLAJ6/ 

7 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos, Beth. Here in Houston, the azaleas are blooming in all their glory. My over-wintered herbs are flourishing, and my lemon and key lime trees are loaded with blossoms. Spring is in the air.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Joan. Wow, you are in full blown spring.

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  2. I love your garden posts, Beth. Your posts are always so cheerful and life-affirming. Thanks for sharing. Blessings on you and yours.

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    1. Thanks Caroline. I am heartened doing these posts.

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  3. I enjoyed all your pictures, but the geese in front of the gate was uplifting and somewhat quaint. Everybody is looking forward to spring.

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  4. the Shenandoah valley is one of the most beautiful places on Earth! Love your post and the pics!

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