Spring is Really Here!
By Edith Morgan
We have had several really warm days, and even some warm rain, to soften up the frozen earth. But a lot has survived the winter: I went outside and looked closely at the ground. After the debris that was raked away is gone, there are now six hyacinths peeking above the earth in my yard, ready to burst into very overpowering blooms. And shyly, the crocuses are up in little clumps, trying to hold their own before the Solomon’s Seal overpower our front of the porch.
Every year I encourage more perennials to come up around my house, as I know that, since I am 90 years old now, I will not want to be doing a lot of active gardening, but will rather just enjoy things as they come up on their own. And it is always a wonderful surprise, once the snow is really gone, to see what has survived and what has found its way into my yard.
I can always count on the forsythia to put out its yellow blossoms and, if I drive around the corner, there is a great magnolia that goes into full bloom early, before it has any leaves. My May Apples will send out shoots, and every year they fill the area around my rain barrel a little more. The Solomon Seal fills the base of the porch – a good thing because the lack of sun on my north side really does not invite many other plants to thrive there – except, of course, the ferns that thrive beside the Solomon Seal.
I did try to grow my own mung bean seedlings, and they sprouted in four days, but they were not as sturdy as the bought ones. Back to the drawing board: I have a lot to learn! The indoor plants are beginning to perk up, looking forward to spending the summer outside, where they seem to thrive.
March was the beginning. But March also gave us a number of other things. Of course, we all learned about “The Ides of March,” when Julius Caesar was warned about his coming fate. Then there is St. Patrick’s Day, when we all go green – no Worcester parade this year, but I expect next year there will be a super celebration, making up for the lost year. And, of course, there is the spring ritual of setting our clocks forward (“Fall back, Spring forward”) and “losing “ an hour of sleep.
My bird feeder is a regular attraction, and it seems to me there are more species out there now than during the winter.
The squirrels are fat and active and come daily for their peanut butter and wheat bread. My rhubarb will have survived and so will the strawberry plants, which have sent out their feelers all through my flower garden beside the house. This year the Rhododendron have lots of buds, so it looks like a flowery summer.
We’re into Passover and Easter now, and nesting season is on full swing. My house sits on a 70-X-70-foot lot, and the house takes up most of that space. So I have just a little room left for growing things. But because the space available is so small, I can get to know every plant personally! I have tried to encourage different ones that bloom at different times, so there is always something in bloom for every season.
But still the most fragrant time is when my two Chinese lilac trees are in bloom, all of June, and gradually shed their tiny star-like blossoms around them and the earth looks as though it has snowed …