Monday, March 1, 2010

The First Signs of Spring


Last week I covered you with dirt,
To slow your calm assuming
That these warm days and sunny skies
Should instigate your blooming.

Now here you are, your petals wide.
But, how could you know
That March is cruel and he will fool you
With his ice and snow.

I've scolded you, but every year
I watch for your display,
For right behind your early start,
Spring is on it's way.

-Eva Carson
February 1980

A friend of mine suggested I might be ADD. It's possible. I am always going in six directions at once. I have Mount St. Laundry to fold, dishes to put away, block 2 for my pinwheel sampler to finish, my Twilight quilt to work on and a stack of UFO's the size of the Empire State Building. But today, I had to take time to go outside for a little bit and enjoy the sunshine, because I have flowers peeking up out of the dirt.

Last fall I left the flower bed clean-up undone. I was up to my neck in New Moon quilt blocks because I ended up filling in for someone at the last minute. I figured the gardening would wait, and would probably be easier to do in the spring. At any rate, it certainly would be less to haul to the green waste yard. And so I spent this afternoon outside playing in the dirt. First, I gathered the proper tools; a trash can with liner (keeps the back of the SUV cleaner on the way to the green waste yard), dustpan and brush, pink garden clogs, weed digger-outer tool, pruning shears, foam kneeling pad, favorite gardening gloves, and pink iPod with lots of great songs to me keep on-task.

I chose a bed in the front of the house to start with. We face north, and so the two beds closest to the house still look pretty dead. But signs of life were showing in the bed out by the sidewalk.

As I worked, I uncovered a treasure-trove of tender green nubs pushing their way out of the soil. Spring bulbs are my favorite and I always think of burying treasure when I put in bulbs, with the added bonus that I don't have to dig them up again to find my treasure -- it just presents itself to me every spring. I love the sort-of blank canvas that my flower beds are in spring. In summer, they are overflowing with beautiful flowers. In the spring, everything is pulled back to bare bones and the potential is mind-boggling.

I love gardening. It is very calming to me. Sometimes I work alone in silence, sometimes I put on my iPod and enjoy two great things at once, and sometimes my kids come out and garden with me. I love the things they talk about while we work together in the dirt.

I went out in short sleeves and enjoyed soaking up a little sunshine. Several neighbors passed by and we chatted for a minute before they went along their way. I think it was an afternoon well spent.


Amy said...

What a fabulous afternoon and I love that your flowers are coming out already. That poem at the beginning was great - did you write that? I'm thinking that I might have killed my bulbs, but we'll see if they start coming through soon. I love to walk by and see your flowers!

whimsyfox said...

Now I can't wait for the rains to end over here so we can start digging and planting!

Elizabeth said...

The poem is by a friend of mine's mother. I didn't have her name when I posted, but I e-mailed to ask. Her name is Eva Carson. It is such a sweet little poem.

Vicki said...

it looks good... I neglected my flower bed out front last fall, and summer, and spring. I need to clean it out and plant it with something that the critters won't eat!

Jennifer Lovell said...

Elizabeth, even though I'm not a gardening kind of person, this one of my favorite posts that I've read from you. "a treasure trove of little green nubs", "blank canvas", and "mind-boggling potential" are my favorite words today. Who knew my best friend was such a writer of yummy & juicy imagery? Love ya!