Vernal Equinox: The Garden Always Knows

I refer to my calendar each year to confirm the first day of spring. My garden needs no such reminder. While I’m busy planning in my head or on paper, my garden knows it’s time to spring forth. Every year it takes my breath away. I’m more steward, than gardener most days. I keep the weeds at bay, train the vines away from the sidewalk and trim away spent flowers or browning leaves.

In truth, none of these things are necessary. I like a tidy garden, so grooming the plants brings me pleasure. It’s also an opportunity to kneel on the earth, a way to feel connected to something magnificent. Mother Earth never ceases to amaze me.

According to The Farmer’s Almanac:

“On the equinox, Earth’s two hemispheres are receiving the Sun’s rays about equally because the tilt of the Earth is zero relative to the Sun, which means that Earth’s axis neither points toward nor away from the Sun.”

Meteorologically speaking, March 1st is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Astronomically, the equinox is generally considered the start of spring. Today is the day that both hemispheres have exactly the same amount of daylight. That in itself is something fun to celebrate.

Come have a look at my garden on this cool, overcast, early spring day.

California poppy

California poppy, waiting to open. It’s our state flower

Cornflower bud

The first of the cornflower buds

Nigella bud

Nigella ready to bud. The bees love them.

Fuchsia freesia

Fuchsia freesia (say that three times)

curb garden spring

The narcissus stems make great supports for the budding sweet peas in the curb garden

three flowers in the curb garden

The beauty of threes

assorted freesia

Assorted freesia

mystery flower red

I planted this in a pot last summer and I forget what it is

yellow freesia and violets

Yellow freesia with violets at their feet

I have a bounce in my step and a racing heart. Spring, glorious spring. You never let me down. Are you ready for the changing season? Are you entering Spring or Autumn?

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55 thoughts on “Vernal Equinox: The Garden Always Knows

  1. My goodness your curb garden is setting out to take over the world! How amazing – and everything looks so healthy too. Which proves you have what it takes! I was reading recently that walking barefoot on the grass or soil or sand if at the beach for an hour a day will help to heal all that ails you. Putting our hands into the soil every day will bring the same benefits. Being in touch with our mother Earth is all it takes. Isn’t that wonderful! I’ve been up since 4am as there is a busy day and I wanted to get all the blogging bits up to date before I shut down the computer – hence my rapid appearance on your post πŸ™‚ Your photos have been a great hit on my blog – you are in line for becoming ‘Saint Alys’ πŸ™‚ Though personally I think “president Alys’ might be better for us all! xoxo

    Oh, and we have a cool, grey equinoxial day to match yours.

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    • Pauline, I’m so glad I saw this before I head out for errands. All that rain has been a boon to the garden. Everything is lush, green, vivid and ample and oh my, the sweet peas are about to explode. I always feel better when I spend time outside. The trees, the forests, the beach or my garden are wonderfully therapeutic. They’ve also said that getting your hands in the soil helps combat depression. Scientifically proven, Alys tested. πŸ˜‰

      I’m delighted to hear that the scarf photos are a hit on your blog. I will get myself over there later today to read and enjoy. I hope your busy day is a good day. My goodness 4 is early. As for ‘Saint Alys’ I’m pretty sure my husband and young teen could set you straight. I do strive for goodness, kindness and decency though everyday, so with that I could certainly teach ’45’ a thing or two. Ah well. I love that you’re equinoxial day matches ours. Big hugs from Cali! xo

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  2. Happy Equinox, Alys! It is great to celebrate the changes in the seasons. I agree with Pauline, that your garden is setting out to conquer the world, and what a wonderful thing that would be! And yes, I would vote for you as President. I loved your photos, especially the buds about to burst open. I have been feeling Autumn coming for a little while. we are still having glorious sunny, warm, even humid days, but there has been an autumnal crispness too. Today is rainy.

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    • Happy Equinox, Anne…though it’s probably the day after now as you read this. I love that crispness of autumn. I hope you have a lovely season ahead. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. I went out early to take photos, as we did end up with rain as well in the afternoon. Thank you for the “vote” of confidence. If I were president (or queen for a day) things sure would be different. I know the same would be true for you. xo

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    • Thank you. I love getting up close to the flowers and taking pictures. I notice different things once viewing them on my screen too, like insects that i didn’t see for instance. We live in a semi-arid climate, so by June these will be going to seed. The first sign of a heatwave and they’re done. The sweet peas self seeded late last year, believe it or not.

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  3. Your beautiful photos brought out the bee in me. πŸ™‚ And in response to your question: Yes, yes, YESS i am ready for spring! As soon as the ground thaws here in the north I will join you in kneeling on the ground and enjoying the communion with Mother Earth.

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  4. As a lover of a tidy garden you would probably freak out if you saw ours. It’s enormous, steep and terraced and the resident gardener is only here at weekends so it does sort of get left to its own devices. I potter but don’t do anything serious and would get in trouble if I did. I suggested signing up for somebody on the Workaway scheme to come for a week or two just to get some of the ‘grunt work’ done but he worries in case they do something he doesn’t like :/
    Anyway, I’ve enjoyed looking at your beautiful (tidy!) plantings and envying your freesias and sweet peas – it must smell beautiful.

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    • I’ve no doubt that your garden is fabulous. I would love having a vast space to spread out and grow things. I once lived in a tiny apartment and still managed to have over 25 house plants. I crammed them in wherever I had light. It’s wonderful watching things grow.

      The scent of freesias is intoxicating, and continues into the evening when the air grows damper and heavier. Any day now the sweet peas will explode across the front garden. I’m so excited.

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  5. ’45’ added an extra layer of gloom and doom to your fall and winter seasons, so the arrival of spring and its fresh, sweet exuberance must seem extra special. The world/nature gets things right even if we don’t all the time. I would love to be walking in your garden with a spring in my step, and a lightness in my heart. On my supermarket trip today I noticed the first signs of autumn colour. It was beautiful but it didn’t make my heart leap with joy!

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    • It was a shock seeing ’45” elected. Now it’s sad and unnerving and worrying, too, not to mention embarrassing to know that a developed country like ours could nominate a buffoon. I’m trying hard to stay focused on the positives in the world, and find ways to help in my own corner (joining SURJ), flood relief efforts, etc.) along with continuing to model civil behavior. The Syrian refugee crisis is another area where I feel helpless. So to avoid drowning in my sorrow and finding myself stuck, I’m trying to focus on the places that I can make a small difference. The garden is therapy.

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  6. Your garden is looking lovely and colourful Alys! (Is that red flower a type of Petunia?) Makes me wish our winters were just a bit shorter! Oh yes, I also have a spring in my step and am waiting for it to warm up enough to be outdoors all day! πŸ˜‰

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  7. WOW! Glorious at every turn hon. Your photo’s capture the essence of spring so well. Every little thing looks fresh and new. I just am amazed at those sweet peas…a Jungle! Dead heading must take a while so it’s a good thing you enjoy it. Bits of our soil are now peaking out of half melted snow. It’ll be a while before anything peeps forth since it’s very cold at night. The only thing providing heat is the sun during the day. I’m ok with it though, because when I return from our awesome holiday, I’ll be seeing spring start here. I wonder if your forgotten pot is some kind of Dianthus? The leaves look familiar. xoxo

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  8. Your garden is so cheery and colorful in the early Spring, Alys!! It puts a song in my heart just gazing at all of the blossoms. On my recent trip to Arizona, I was admiring the brilliant California Poppies growing wild along the roadsides in the Tonto National Forest. What a beautiful state flower you have! The Poppies looked so pretty with the sunny, yellow Brittlebush blossoms on the red, sandy earth! I must remember to plant Sweet Peas, in honor of my sweet friend, Alys! β™‘

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  9. You inspire me to do a little necessary tidying up! My birthday is March 20th so I have a ready-made spring alert in my view. I ordered a few new California natives from Annie’s Annuals and I’m waiting for them to arrive. After seeing how beautiful your plants look and how well they’ve made it through all the rain, I’m poised and ready to get out there! πŸ™‚

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    • Happy belated birthday. What a wonderful time of year for a birthday, especially for a gardener. Thanks for the tip on Annie’s Annuals. They were not on my radar before. I’ve just had a nice visit on their site. It’s raining again today, but that doesn’t keep me indoors. I’ve been weeding and clearing (and yes shopping). Ah, what a great time of year.

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  10. I’m late again but it was worth getting here. You garden is just heavenly. Heide’s comment about kneeling on the earth made me realize we are in essence kneeling in homage to Mother Earth. That’s where I’m happiest and lose all track of time and hunger. Right now we are having what I consider a real spring storm. It’s different from winter rain in intensity and direction. The winds blow it this way and that coming faster and slower in seconds. There is no other sound than the rain on my house. Like a lullaby. I am not sure how much survived this unusual winter but many of the hyacinth did on the upper terrace. Strawberries my sister brought last fall are still going too. So are the weeds. πŸ˜‰

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    • Marlene, me too! It’s so true. I get lost in the garden and forget about everything else. What a lovely sound to wake up too, rain on the roof. Bliss! I’m glad your hyacinth made it and your strawberries, too. Summer is coming. But yes, those weeds will be on steroids this year for sure. Mine surely are.

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