Six on Saturday: Embracing Spring

Dwarf German bearded Iris ‘Sailboat Bay’ surprised me on Wednesday with the first bearded Iris bloom of spring.


Embracing spring invites us to embrace change.  Mid-April finds the landscape stuck on ‘fast-forward’ as changes unfold around us every hour of every day.  There is always something new emerging to delight, even as flowers finish and petals drop in the wind and rain.


Columbine prepares to bloom even as the daffodils finish.


There are seasons within seasons, and springtime certainly embraces many stages of phenological change.  From the earliest snowdrops and Crocus we have progressed now to dogwoods, Iris, columbine, and the swelling buds on peonies. We saw Wisteria explode this week in cascades of lilac and white flowers in trees, on homes and fences and growing wild in the woods.  It is one of the most beautiful sights of spring here, and promises only warmer days to come.

Nearly all the trees have tender expanding leaves now, and every box store and nursery offers bright flowers and little veggie starts.  Temptation waits everywhere for a gardener like me!

I bought our first basil on Thursday, with full confidence that it will thrive from here on through summer, after a Master Gardener friend gave me one of her plants that morning.  I trust her judgement that the season is now ripe for growing basil and other summer herbs.


Iris cristata, one of our native Iris species in this area, expands to bloom more abundantly each spring. This is a miniature Iris with crests on each fall instead of beards.


Looking ahead, our forecast promises warming nights and abundant rain.  I’ve been blowing leaves away and mulching beds all week, adding compost and planting out the plants I’ve been squirreling away for this moment.  We picked up our new Dahlias and Cannas, Alocasias and other bulbs from the bulb shop in Gloucester last week.  I’ve even been telling gardening friends that our Caladium plants can come out soon.  I believe the tubers will be safe now, unless late April holds an unforeseen surprise!


Ajuga blooms among emerging ferns.  This is Athyrium niponicum ‘Applecourt,’ a deciduous Japanese painted fern.


Embracing spring means celebrating the changes to our warming Earth.  Life returns to woody branches and the ground erupts in wildflowers and green.  Perennials reappear like children playing ‘hide and seek.’

We see nature starring in her annual mystery play, a script written millennia ago; and re-enacted each year.

Every blooming Iris and diligent bee reassures us that the players all know their parts and will follow their cues.   And we are each a part of this never-ending story.  Whether we simply sit back and observe, or take an active part with secateurs, shovel and rake; we are each embraced by the rich beauties and sweetness of spring.


A young dogwood blooms against our fallen redbud tree, still leaning after our December snowstorm. I am sure the trees will figure out how to coexist.


Woodland Gnome 2019


“Everything is connected.

The wing of the corn beetle affects the direction of the wind,

the way the sand drifts,

the way the light reflects into the eye of man beholding his reality.

All is part of totality,

and in this totality man finds his hozro,

his way of walking in harmony,

with beauty all around him.”

Tony Hillerman



Many thanks to the wonderful ‘Six on Saturday’ meme sponsored by The Propagator.



To Be One Drop of Water….



But water always goes where it wants to go,

and nothing in the end can stand against it.

Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone.

Remember that, my child. Remember

you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle,

go around it.     Water does.”


Margaret Atwood




“Wisdom cannot be imparted.

Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart

always sounds like foolishness to someone else …

Knowledge can be communicated,

but not wisdom. One can find it, live it,

do wonders through it,

but one cannot communicate and teach it.”


Hermann Hesse




“One kernel is felt in a hogshead;

one drop of water helps to swell the ocean;

a spark of fire helps to give light to the world.

None are too small, too feeble,

too poor to be of service.

Think of this and act.”


Hannah More




Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017





One Word Photo Challenge: Rain


April 20, 2015 rain 013


With Appreciation to Jennifer Nichole Wells

for her One Word Photo Challenge:  Rain


April 20, 2015 rain 003


Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015

One Word Photo Challenge: Mint

Apple Mint

Apple Mint



Coolest of greens;

Wakes up the senses with its bite.


October 15, garden in rain 007


Spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint,



Rose scented geranium and Colocasia

Rose scented geranium and Colocasia

Calms and invigorates,

Cleans and relaxes,

Soothes and strengthens.



Columbine with Vinca

Color of life,

Growth and regeneration;

Calm and collected,



Apple mint with Japanese painted fern

Apple mint with Japanese painted fern

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014





With appreciation to  Jennifer Nichole Wells for her

One Word Photo Challenge:  Mint




Our Forest Garden- The Journey Continues

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