Here in the Northeast March came in like a lion, and we hope, as the saying goes, it goes out like a lamb. The unusually warm days of late February, had each of us thinking of spring and the many new outdoor projects we are anxious to start. All that was tempered by old man winter, showing up last week, not ready to let go his grasp of the season he commands. Do not despair, for it is the snows of winter that replenish ground water, fill reservoirs, and coat our garden gems with a blanket of white insulation, readying them to set forth as the sun climbs higher and the ground around them thaws.
This is a great time of year to take stock of what was, and what is to come. We look back on the winter garden scene and see the last of its energy in the berries and seed heads that have survived the hungry birds. We see it in the spent foliage, some left to experience in all its winter glory and some left because we simply ran out of time to clean it up. It is a time to view the structure and balance of the garden, a time to discover holes in our design, and rethink the themes we have built on, a time to remember, and a time for opportunity. This is a time to take a few moments, or hours, and experience our outdoor spaces, take notice of past gardening triumphs and failures, discover the feeling the garden imparts, and be inspired to new ideas and additions.
As the remnants of last year’s season begin to mix with the squishy black tones of the muddy ground as the frost begins to melt away, we are left with a sometimes unsightly composition. But even as the ground oozes and the roadsides reveal the sands of winter plowing, we are heartened by the thought of what is to come over the next few short weeks. Crocus will soon start to appear, giving us hope and refreshing our spirit. Soon after, other bulbs and then the beautiful yellows of our old friendly Forsythia. Before long the Sun will warm our spirit as it does the earth and Spring will dawn again and we will find ourselves in the garden hoeing, turning soil, planting and feeling refreshed. A feeling tempered after those first few days by the aches and stiffness brought on by winter’s complacency, sending us searching for the Ibuprofen. Only then will we feel alive again.
See you in the garden,