The Blooms, Shoots and Peeps of Change

When you have had a tough winter – too sick, too tired, and so sick and tired of icky weather – there’s nothing like the blooms of a magnolia tree to assure you wholeheartedly that spring is here. This one I saw yesterday in Charlottesville begs to be noticed.

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Just down the road a piece, these beauties make their own March magic.

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My own garden is way less impressive right now, though the chives are perfect and were delicious, cut up fine, in last night’s meatloaf (and try mixing a handful or two of asiago cheese, grated fine, into the mixture, yum!).

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My daffodils are trying hard – one more sunny day (maybe two) and they will be at peak. Behind them, through the deer fencing, you can see the strawberry plants making their start.

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The tiny, tender new leaves of the rose bush leave no doubt that it has every intention of another banner year.

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And the reddish shoots of the peony bush have pushed through the earth – for me perhaps one of the most heartwarming pictures of promise. Brown all around, but winter’s nap is over. Here we come!

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A hawk flies by with its massive wings, a redheaded woodpecker inspects a tree for new hole locations and the peepers peep down by the creek. I hadn’t heard them until today.

Have you noticed how quickly things can change? I was watching the PBS series on Queen Victoria recently and chuckled to myself during one scene. Things are in a bit of an upheaval and Albert says to her softly by way of comfort: “Everything changes, Victoria,” – pause – “except us.” Granted, their marriage was rock solid, but little did he know what was coming in December of 1861. As my father would have said to him, “I have news for you.”

Some change is good though. Hardly anyone laments the end of winter and the beginning of spring. I got some seeds planted this weekend, and with them, new signposts installed. Toward the end of February, while we were still wearing the many layers of wintertime, I remembered that my guests often meander through the garden on their own, but if I were doing that, I’d have a hard time knowing what’s what (even in my own garden half the time!). So I thought signs might be good. Sandy cut and drilled some scrap wood, I painted the words, and on a reasonably warm day I polyurethaned them and hung them to dry.

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This weekend was the time to attach some of them – peas, lettuce, spinach, carrots, onions, garlic, oregano – to metal stakes and set them in their proper places. Let the self-guided tours be henceforth more informative! I think I’ll change the attachment method, but for now, it works. The oregano in front of the sign will fill out this whole corner when it gets going.

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I never had garden signs like this before. That’s a change, a good one I think. Sure, not-so-good changes come too, regardless of season, regardless of our plans, and there are plenty of those. Therefore let us ever be on the lookout for the good changes – notice them, applaud them, celebrate them. May they be the counterbalances, the bright spots, the ever-present (if ever-changing) reminders that despite those times when all (or most) seems dark, flowers do bloom in the spring, shoots do pop through the earth to begin another glorious cycle, peepers do peep! 

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