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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Fab Freesias Frolic in the Rain

It’s raining.  Honest to goodness, puddle-forming, hair-curling rain.

This is the first substantial rain in San Jose in two months. Everyone else seems to be suffering from too much weather; we haven’t had enough.  I walked with a friend for an hour this morning and it never let up. Fantastic.

My garden freesias share my enthusiasm.  This is their first shower of the season.

freesia buds pink

Nature’s perfection

freesia in the rain pink

Refreshed

They aren’t the only ones happy about the downpour.  The squirrels are chasing each other around and around the pine tree with glee. Meanwhile, a hummingbird tried to make sense of the fruit tree.  It’s known as a four-in-one or a fruit cocktail.  It’s one tree with four grafts.  This one grows pitted fruit: peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines.  The grapes were an after thought by yours-truly on her way to the compost bin.  They still had some life in them so I hung them on the branches for the birds.

fruit tree

Hummingbird at rest

I’ve enjoyed watching the progress of this potted beauty. It sits on the back steps, so I can see it from indoors. I pass it on my way to do the daily rounds: emptying the kitchen compost bin, snapping pictures, checking on things. I pulled weeds for an hour yesterday, and cut back some of the dead growth from last November’s frost. It felt great to get out there and do a bit of work after nursing a crummy cold for over a week.

freesia progression

Four week progression

The yellow freesia was a surprise. It popped out from under another plant and seemed to bloom in a flash. Yellow is such a cheerful color, don’t you think?

freesia buds yellow

Yellow freesia buds

yellow freesia

These popped up earlier this week

If you are sick of the wind, the rain, the snow or the drought, I hope things turn around for you soon. I plan to enjoy every minute of this rainy day and, fingers crossed, hope for more to come.