Anticipation, awakened, renewed, hopeful, excited, even! The promise of spring makes me feel this way. But it wasn’t always so. Not until I became a gardener in my late 20’s did I notice I had specific feelings about Spring. If you garden, you know!
In New England, we have several months of dormancy during the Winter season. While the gardens sleep, so do I. I’ve learned to lean into the slowness and quiet Wintertime brings to my mind, body and soul.
For a short 12 weeks I have time to rest and reflect on the previous season and dream and plan for what’s to come in the next. I bask in the relief of the change of seasons and the chance to nest and focus on family and holiday preparations. After all, it takes a lot out of a person to nurse plant babies and care for cut flowers properly. There are schedules to keep, pests and viruses to treat, buckets to wash, not to mention the weeding. Oh, the weeding…and the WEDDINGS! Oh, the WEDDINGS. . . .
How easy it is to forget all of that when you’re snuggled up on the sofa with your favorite seed catalogs and scrolling through gorgeous Insta gardens online. These are my favorite winter exercises for building anticipation and hope. However, my eyes are always bigger than my plot of land, which is typical of most garden folk. No matter what’s going on in the world, I can escape into flowerland for hours and return to reality, feeling hopeful and excited. I am comforted in the knowledge that mother nature is working her magic behind the scenes to assure us of a fresh start, once again.
As the days get longer and lighter, my heart quickens at the thought of seeing the verdant green sprigs of snow crocus and muscari emerge from the warming earth. It’s always a miracle to see them springing to life under a pile of snow.
While walking through the perennial gardens the other day, I noticed signs of new growth underneath the decayed leaves and stems of last year’s blooms. It never gets old. I’m tempted to cut everything down to the ground but snow is still a possibility and the returning birds are making a feast out of the seed pods from the black-eyed Susans and coneflower. Instead, I’ll wait a bit longer before starting my spring cleanup chores and let the anticipation continue to build.