Surprise awaits within the month of March. As the Earth transitions from winter to spring, March can be unstable. Like an adolescent, March has mood swings–wild winds followed by steely calm; widely fluctuating day and evening air temperatures, and flowers blooming in barren soil. March also brings birthday wishes for me.
My mind welcomed the arrival of spring, always anxious for her appearance, I was waiting, and I watched as she slowly approached with a lessening of rain. Now I wait for the sun to pass over the equator when spring will be upon us. Many of us, however, don’t wait for the vernal equinox to inspire our spring. There is something in the air that speeds up spring’s arrival.
In my garden, Helen’s Haven, it begins as close as the front door with the scent of the variegated winter daphne, Daphne odora ‘Aureo-marginata’, and as far as the mahonia on the perimeter edge. All year, I wait for spring to smell her fragrance. Heady, yet light, spring scents stir the gardening blood for a new beginning.
Yet, it’s not the flowers in the garden I need for spring to inspire, I have many--Veronica ‘Georgia Blue’, daffodils, Viburnum tinus ‘Spring Bouquet’ as well as hellebores, crocus, and tulips. By design, I’ve taken advantage of others before me–hunters, breeders, zone pushers–and I added plants to cover all seasons and all senses.
It’s also not the greening up that says spring to me. March begins to bring green back to the ground. New shoots of daylilies, larkspur, and bee balm begin to cover the soil for late spring and summer sizzle.
Spring starts for me when I can begin to dig in the dirt again.
With spring comes garden tours, plant sales, and gifts of passalong plants. Spring also starts the season to dig again.
As wet winter soil dries, I can sink a shovel safely into the ground. My March is spent dividing, moving, editing, and planting. It’s the rhythm of the season. I move with this rhythm, while listening to nature’s chorus–the birds chirp to their heart’s content, and the hum of the bees as their wings carry them from flower to flower. Even angry cries from protective mothers as a cat pays too much attention to a newly built nest makes up spring’s chorus.
Even with much to do, spring can still be a slow pace; it can be whatever we make of it. As Helen’s Haven thrives in her teen years, the foundation of her being has been made. It’s now a matter of grooming, adding here and there to freshen her look, something akin to getting a new frock for the Easter parade. Pots of tulips will be moved in place to give color like no other spring flower. Each year, I wonder why I didn’t do it more. Nothing could be easier.
It’s time. It’s time to go beyond walking in the garden , and get back into digging in the garden.