Awakening

Columbine begins its annual growth in our garden.

Columbine begins its annual growth in our garden.

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Warmer days this week drew us outside to begin cutting back the dead branches of perennials, pull mouldering leaves out of planting beds, and look for the many tiny signs of spring.  Autumn leaves have found lodging everywhere, it seems.  Too wet to shred, we will leave them to mulch the soil a bit longer.

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Catmint has reappeared in the stump garden.

Catmint has reappeared in the stump garden.

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I was a little surprised to see abundant growth of new leaves on the catmint once last summer’s stems were cleared away.  Tiny green shoots of Comphrey poke a few inches above the moist soil.  New daffodil leaves emerge each day.

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Tete-a-Tete daffodils bloom in a pot with a budding Clematis vine.

Tete-a-Tete daffodils bloom in a pot with a budding Clematis vine.

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A single bright yellow daffodil blossom magically appeared over night on Tuesday in a pot near the drive, and a spray of tiny Tete-a-Tete daffodils opened the following day in the pot where a Clematis vine has already budded out.  Their cheerful golden trumpets brighten up this soggy Saturday.  Mid-March is muddy here in Williamsburg.

We are happy for the mud, however, as it shows us the ground has thawed.  Our last snow-pile finally melted by Thursday morning.

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March 14, 2015 spring flowers 011

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Now little bits of fresh growth have begun to emerge in the oddest places.  Bright moss shines along the front walk.  Deep rosy red buds appeared this week on the roses, beckoning me to finally trust that the worst of winter has passed and cut them back.

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March 14, 2015 spring flowers 006

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We’re walking around, taking stock; cleaning up what winter left behind.

Somehow a box of bare root Siberian Iris came home with us from Sam’s Club, and I scooped out moist holes for their roots yesterday.  I love their deep purple flowers waving in the warm May breeze.  They spread and multiply rapidly, making thick stands of saturated color as the Azaleas fade each year.  A bare root white Clematis from the same package now grows along a fence.

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March 14, 2015 spring flowers 004

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A fitting surprise waited for me in the old bag of potting soil which has lingered beneath the wheelbarrow these last frozen months.  I opened it to fill a pot for the second Clematis yesterday, and found little shoots of green already growing in the mix.  Apparently, this was soil I had scooped out of a pot at the end of the season to save, forgetting there were tiny bulbs mixed in from another spring.  The bulbs sprouted anyway, and their leaves were poking out of the moist soil.  I rescued them from the bag and tucked them into pots where they can prosper in the sun.

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Crocus emerge beneath a woody web of Lantana stems.  We want to wait until the weather settles a bit more before cutting the Lantana back for spring.

Crocus emerge beneath a woody web of Lantana stems. We want to wait until the weather settles a bit more before cutting the Lantana back for spring.

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Always filled with interesting surprises, spring cheers me like no other season.  As each perennial emerges from its winter rest, as each bulb breaks the Earth with its brilliant green leaves and each fruit tree bursts into flowers; I am reminded again that life is full of beautiful surprises.

Our gardens, like our own lives, remain perennially capable of new growth.  Although we don’t find it in every season, the potential remains.

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March 14, 2015 spring flowers 019

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When the soil is warm  and moist, things always grow.  Whether that growth is what we planned or whether it ends up a straggler which blew in from elsewhere; the soil covers itself with interesting leaves, spreading stems, and sometimes a delicate flower.

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I've transplanted Hellebores seedlings to grow beneath this Camellia shrub.  They will make a lovely ground cover in a few years.

I’ve transplanted Hellebores seedlings to grow beneath this Camellia shrub. They will make a lovely ground cover in a few years.

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The sun beckons, even as rain clouds mute its life giving rays.

March: the month when our garden awakens to spring.  May all of its verdant possibilities inspire you.

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March 12, 2015 watershed 004

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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March 14, 2015 creek 041

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

8 responses to “Awakening

  1. What a lovely post! Spring does bring us all renewal. I think one of my favorite times in the gardens is the earliest of spring, when you go out everyday and find shoots just breaking ground, tips coming up through the fallen leaves, and then soon……days later, green! Watching the leaves unfurl and the plant go from its underground dormancy to opening up to the world and to the glorious sunshine. Looking forward to those days here in Maine, once the snow melts! In its own time! Thanks for sharing the great photos, loved the first one of the columbine and the droplets of dew. Enjoy!

    • Thank you so much 😉 You have expressed it perfectly. I hope you will get to enjoy this same unfolding within just a few weeks. Are you in Zone 4 or 5? We are Zone 7. Frost free date for Zone 8, where we lived until our move here, comes this week, believe it or not 😉 Best wishes to you both, WG

      • We are zone 5 but sometimes zone 4, with the weather patterns changing, this often changes things. We look forward to warmer days and the unveiling of spring here in north. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy living vicariously through the words and photos of blogs like yours! Have a lovely day!

  2. How exciting to see everything that is emerging in your garden. Are you pinching yourself saying, “I can’t believe it’s spring!”?

    • Actually, Eliza, I’m feeling entirely grateful for our muddy garden full of shoots and thinking about you still under snow. I hope this is a ‘gentle spring’ for everyone who has had so much snow this winter. My partner keeps asking me whether you have sandbags along your creek. (?) We went down into the 30s last night. The patterns remain unsettled, and I take nothing for granted (yet) 😉 Giant hugs, WG

  3. Sorry to be commenting every time but I really love the opening picture. Haven’t read the blog but wanted to write “OH! Love the picture!”

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