A Month into Spring

Time may be a social construct, but Spring arrives reliably year after year. Paper calendars are optional.

Welcome rain for a parched garden

The first bulbs emerge in February, a little pre-season treat. In our garden, that means hyacinth and once-upon-a-time, crocus. I haven’t noticed the crocus in recent years, but given their small size, they may simply be growing out of view.

Pink hyacinth

Soon the narcissus follows, bright and showy and strong.

Harbingers of spring: Yellow Daffodils

Freesias are my new favorite. They multiply year after year, adorning the garden with an assortment of color and an intoxicating scent. I planted one assorted packet several years ago, and have reaped the reward of purples, reds, pale yellows, and the prolific whites. They dazzle our passersby from the curb garden and along the curving ramp to our front door.

A trio of colored Freesia

Brilliant white Freesia

As the flashy bulbs finish for the season, perennials carry on with the show. Bright pinks, lavenders, and yellows contrast against the ever-present greens.

Dark pink azalea

Azalea close-up

Pale pink Azalea

Shiny new growth emerges on all the plants like a chick from an egg, small and tender at first, then vital and strong.

It’s not all fun and games. The weeds emerge, even with our meager rain, opportunistically growing beneath the established ground cover. They grow parallel to the lacy foliage of the California poppy, perhaps thinking I won’t notice.

They’re no match for this gardener.

As I hobbled to and from the car earlier this year, I would bend down and pluck one or two weeds. Now that I’m fairly mobile, I’m methodically clearing them from the garden.

The worst of the weeds gather near the curb, so I sat on the pavement there and got to work.

Over a few weeks, I worked my way down both sides of the drive, around the raised bed known as the curb garden, and then finally into the main garden.

Front Garden

Getting lost in thought as I pull weeds and tidy the beds is wonderfully therapeutic. It helps keep the worrying thoughts at bay. I hear bird song from the trees. I try to count bees, smiling to myself when I lose track. An abundance of bees is essential for our survival. My garden is content to do its part.

Garden Gallery:

Occasionally a lizard darts out of its hiding place and they always give me a start. They too are a gift to the garden, so as my nervous system relaxes, I count my many blessings and carry on with my day.

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. – Audrey Hepburn

30 thoughts on “A Month into Spring

  1. My gosh! Everything looks gorgeous and green. Thank goodness for fresh rain. I’d self isolate at your house in a heartbeat. Nothings green here yet but hopefully with the weather warming we’re a month or so away from our own spring. Those Azalea’s are stunning, I sure wish we could do them here. Good luck with the bugs this year. I prepare for the ants to awaken, they are the bane of our yard. Brick and sand seems to be a real attraction for the pests. I guess as long as they stay outside 😀 cheers dear xoK

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    • Kelly, I think of you whenever I come across ants in the garden. I’ve upset several small groups as I pull up weeds, but they’re all near the curb and away from the house so I remain hopeful. We’re incredibly spoiled living in sunny California. Since blogging, I’ve come to recognize that more and more.

      As for the sand, I’m sure that is a big part of it. It’s moveable but it doesn’t retain moisture so they can probably move it around. Count your blessings, though, that you don’t have squash bugs. I shudder every time I think about them. xo

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  2. I’m glad to hear you are mobile enough and fit enough and feeling strong enough to get back into your garden. It must be so satisfying to weed and tidy and get to see all those signs of reneal bursting forth. I’m so envious of all your freesias. They say ‘spring’ like nothing else for me. It’s the scent of course 🙂 I love to see all the signs of spring coming from your half of the globe while mine drifts off into the dark days of winter. It’s a lovely gift that I get to enjoy every year. Even so today had an oddly springtime feel to it. I woke late this morning and the room was light and filled with bird song. We had a warm and sunny walk and met several friends along the way – there is a more relaxed feel to everyone right now, a premature celebration that we might have found a way to overcome this thing….. We move to level 3 next Tuesday and if all goes well could be living in Level 2 a couple of weeks later. We’ll see….

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    • Pauline, its been great. I’m sore at the end of the day, but I sleep better from the sunshine and extra exercise. I’m amazed, too, at how much I can get done without bearing weight. I sit or lean. Of course getting up from the ground is a different story! Freesias are a wonderful harbinger of spring. I wish you could grow them in NZ. That said, you live in the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen, so you have many wonderful subsitutes.

      I’m happy to hear about the more relaxed atmosphere there. What happy news! I’ve been following New Zealand’s infection rates and they are nothing short of remarkable. Bring on Level 2!

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      • I’m just finishing off a new post to update everyone with a bit of our news. We can grow freesias here and do – they are much loved. I just can’t grow them here in my non-garden scenario. Never mind – I can always buy a bunch from the store come spring 🙂

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  3. Your garden is looking so lovely Alys! Must be all that tender loving care you are giving it. 😉 Beautiful photos. I understand completely what you say about gardening being therapeutic and believe it will be the salvation of many of us during these troublesome times. I often stop to watch the birds or a butterfly and things are pit back into perspective. Also good to see you are getting more mobile and have been able to do so much gardening. xx

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  4. The garden is a balm in ordinary times and seems just as much now! Yours is really blooming and beautiful–you’re a few weeks ahead of us yet. I’m glad you can get out and weed and enjoy being outside.

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    • Lisa, I agree. It’s been a joy spending more and more time outdoors. We just learned, too, that regular sun reminds your body you’re awake and so it shuts down melatonin production. I get so sleeping when I’m inside all day. How about you? How does the garden grow? I hope work from home is tolerable.

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      • The garden is good–early yet, but beginning its sprouting and blooming. I had greens all winter, which was nice. Yes, I find that if I’m inside I do sleep a lot. I can sleep for 9-10 hours a night. But I do have to get up to work. And that’s a blessing. It’s a bit crazy with technology not always working, but by and large we get on with it. I do have a new blog with pictures of the garden now and two narratives, so if you want to see, it’s up.

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  5. Your garden looks like you have put a great deal of work in it. I’m not quite there yet. We had rain today so weeds will pull easier. Spring has come and will soon be gone replaced quickly by very warm days. Enjoyed your garden so much. Got your note and will answer tomorrow.

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    • Thank you, Marlene. It’s a labor of love, truly. I enjoy what I plant, what nature plants (well, not the weeds so much) and the landscaped plants that have filled in nicely, requiring little water and inviting bees and birds to visit.

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  6. I actually didn’t realise those stalks among the poppies were weeds, they felt majestic and standing separately like soldiers on duty, and of course had helped fill a gap whilst you were out of action. I’m pretty sure passerby didn’t particularly notice them…
    Your garden beds are stunning…so lucky that you have planted all the magic and the colour…

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    • Thank you for your kind words. The trouble with weeds, is that they easily seed and take over areas you may not otherwise want occupied. I appreciate your unique perspective. The color is so cheering. I planted a packet of California poppies several years ago, and they multiple each year. I’ve learned to let them go to seed, and sometimes I take one and give it a good shake in a new area. It’s paid off with poppies up and down the sidewalk.

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  7. I think it is first time I have seen a photo of your garden after it has rained 😊. We are in a long period without rain, so no nasturtiums here.

    Anyway, I am glad that you are much more mobile now and being able to work in the garden is so therapeutic.

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