Spring Bouquet

I am practically jumping out of my skin. As soon as the morning rush hour dies down (assuming I can be patient that long), I’m driving across town to my favorite discount plant nursery. This place and the planting that followed used to be a spring break ritual for me. I eagerly anticipated the trip, making lists and amending them as their availability page updated. I would fill my car with a hundred small plants (what? they’re cheap!), carefully stacking and wedging pots. The day would be spent planting – the soil my canvas and the plants, my paint.

After the divorce and the subsequent loss of the house, I missed my spring ritual. I mourned the loss of my garden and my daily walks within its walls. I ached for the sight of the new growth pushing through the soil every spring. I wondered how my plants, carefully tended from small starters, were faring under their new owners. My spirit felt the empty hole left by the removal of my garden.

I substituted a membership to the botanical gardens for my own, finding some connection to the soil and nature’s rhythm in that public space.

But it was never the same.

And I wondered if it would ever be.

bulb-care-daff

We moved into this house in September. One of the reasons we chose the house was its outdoor space. It was full of potential. While waiting for the house to close, I brainstormed a list of plants I wanted to acquire that would complement the space. I started painting the garden in my mind, filling the space with blooms and greenery.

Yet I resisted actually getting my hands dirty.

Some of it was practical.

I was busy painting and moving and setting up the interior space. It was a cold and wet fall, not ideal for planting. And, as the yard and I had just been introduced, I felt like I needed to get to know it a bit better before I went sinking my hands into its depths.

But some of it was emotional.

I poured a lot of my soul into my old garden. And its loss was painful. So painful, that I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to start again. I had become accustomed to being mobile. Setting down literal roots is a commitment. And I wasn’t sure I could handle that risk.

I planned to do some planting this spring, but I didn’t have my old excitement, my old drive, about it. It was matter-of-fact.

Until I pulled up the plant availability page at my favorite nursery two weeks ago.

And then I got giddy. Alive with excitement and possibility.

So now, here I am. My fingers are twitching in anticipation of the trowel. A tarp lies in wait in my trunk, ready to accept its verdant cargo. The beds have been weeded and the trees trimmed. The compost and fertilizer are staged at the side of the yard. All I need are the plants. And some patience:)

I have a garden again.

Colorful_spring_garden

 

In honor of the re-establishment of my spring ritual, here is a bouquet of spring garden themed posts.They are partly about literal gardens. But they are also are metaphorical, highlighting the similarities between nature’s rhythms and our own. All have pictures that remind us that beauty follows even the harshest of winters and words that remind us not to be afraid to bloom.

 

The Garden

In my old life I had a garden.

When we first moved into our home, the 1 acre yard was a motley medley of scraggly grass and tenacious weeds; too wet to mow and too shady for grass to thrive. It was a blank canvas. Slowly, I began to paint, using the medium of small starter plants, tree seedlings obtained from the forestry department, and cuttings and divisions nurtured from friends and neighbors. Click to read the rest.

 

The Beauty of an Early Spring Garden is in the Details

At first glance, the early spring garden is barren. There are few leaves, few flowers, no raucous plants fighting for attention. It is a different garden.

The beauty of an early spring garden is in the details, subtle interplay of color and texture, and the bright green of new growth tentatively poking its head though the soil. In order to see the beauty, the quiet spectacle that is the wakening garden, one must be patient and in tune with the rhythm of life. Click to read the rest.

 

Awakening From Hibernation

Ahh, February. It’s not quite spring but we are well over winter. In the south, the trees and flowers are jut beginning to stir. The first signs of the cherry blossoms have appeared. The daffodils are letting their yellow undercoats peek out at the tepid sun. Tree branches are rounded with the soft buds of the new leaves. The stirrings are not limited to the plants. Joggers are beginning to fill the trails, especially on those days between cold and rain fronts. The squirrels are out in force, digging up the acorns they buried months ago. The birds have lifted their self-imposed ban on song and their chirps and warbles fill the mornings once again.

It’s natural to hibernate when the world outside becomes too harsh to bear. It’s instinctive to curl up and tuck in, settling into a protective stasis. We do it annually to some extent as we follow the natural rhythms of shorter days and colder nights. We tend to narrow our worlds in the winter, paring back and slowing down. It is a time of restoration. Click to read the rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Spring Bouquet

  1. I have traveled this path of garden loss with you over the past four years. My old house…the one where my marriage died…is seven doors down from my daughter’s house. When the house sold, the young man who bought it saw my truly visceral connection to the roses, the iris, the cozy porch where I sat every morning with my tea, and assured me I could stop by at any time and cut flowers to take with me. Leaving the garden was almost as hard as leaving my 29-year marriage.

    I moved to an apartment with a brand-new yard and, after a year of being totally frozen, took solace in creating a garden. This one was primarily veggies, interspersed with flowers, and it really helped heal my soul.

    I’m now living with my daughter, and pass by my old garden daily. I rejoice in each new blossom; the garden (and the house) reflects love again. I garden with my granddaughters now, and watch them grow along with the flowers and veggies we plant together. It is truly a wonderful place to be.

    Blessings to you and your new garden. – Fawn

  2. Gardening is a wonderful way to bring life to a space, as well as into yourself. Since the break up of my marriage, I have been renting small apartments or staying in basements of family until September 2013. I am now in a small townhouse with a tiny yard and so excited for spring. I am in Canada and snow is still melting in the yard, but seeds have been started and plans are taking shape. I want a flowery herby space, with a small grill and a couple chairs. Something simple, and something I create. I cannot commit to digging and have to plant in containers as part of my lease, but any perennials will come with me on my next move. I look forward to seeing your garden take shape – please post lots of beautiful pictures 🙂

    El

    1. I love the exciting potential found in seeds and seedlings. I bet that’s especially true with the long winters in Canada! We’ve complained in Atlanta about our “hard” winter, but it really just amounted to two snowstorms.

      Thanks for the reminder about pictures. I’ll get the first set this afternoon after I spread some pine straw. It’s pretty unimpressive at the moment (super small plants tucked under mulch for cold protection). In fact, my husband (who knows nothing about gardening) looked at me quizzically last night when I was all sweaty and exhausted with nothing much to show for it:) He’ll see!

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