Definitions of Spring

Early morning walks are becoming more and more enjoyable as Connecticut’s temperatures gradually warm, mounds of snow slowly melt, and Spring continues to overpower Winter. I expect that the Old Man will not go out without a fight but, little by little, he is losing his grip on southern New England.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGardeners, as stewards of growing greenery, have a special relationship with Spring. It’s time for renewal, repair, and restoration. As Connecticut gardeners watch record snowfall leisurely melt away, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the mess of fallen branches, packed down leaves, damaged shrubbery, and general mayhem left behind. A lot of work awaits and if we’re not careful the magnitude of this year’s clean up chores can easily overpower the sense of wonder and delight that only Spring brings.

To overcome any remaining winter negativity, and to focus on the opportunity to rekindle my relationship with all I plant, grow, and harvest, I came up with a gardener’s definitions of Spring.

Anticipation: snow melting from planting beds.

Expectation: how many flowers will newly emerging bulb shoots produce.


Prospect: packets of seeds.

Hope: planting seeds.

Suspense: waiting for seeds to sprout, perennials to show new growth, and tree and shrub buds to swell.

Bated breath: comes from waiting and watching for indoor started seeds to survive to outdoor transplantation, for transplants to survive to maturity, for fruits and flowers to mature.

Excitement: Bulbs and perennials poking from the ground, birds singing and building nests, warming sunshine.

03-2006-crocus-1Before too long we will be able to see crocus in bloom.

In the meantime how do you fight feeling overwhelmed by the mess winter leaves behind?

How do you define Spring?

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7 comments for “Definitions of Spring

  1. March 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Boy, you picked a tough day to post about spring and maintaining wonder and delight — it’s pouring down rain in buckets and I don’t think it could look drearier. Lakes and lagoons are forming in my gardens and snowmelt swamps are saturating the earth! Oh my. This just calls for closing one’s eyes and waking up another day!

  2. joenesgarden
    March 6, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Laurrie, the rain is not as heavy in my more southern part of CT. Still, I’d rather focus on the joys rather than the sorrows of late winter/early spring weather. Before closing your eyes to what’s going on outside, take note of how water flows on the still frozen ground and use this knowledge in future planting plans. In my yard this has helped explain why one winterberry blooms well and is covered with red berries each fall while another, just six feet away but in drier ground, is less robust. Take heart … the forecast calls for drier weather tomorrow afternoon.

  3. March 6, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Joene, As strange as it may sound, I look forward to cleaning up after the mess winter has left behind. I walked around my semi-snowcovered garden yesterday and was thinking that spring is almost here. And I found myself excitedly anticipating the time when the ground is drier and I can actually start my spring cleanup and see first hand how everything survived the winter. That’s how I define Spring.

  4. March 7, 2011 at 12:03 am

    Spring has come to Alabama already, and with it lots of work! I don’t mind the work, because it gets me outside and I get to listen to birds while I labor. I just hope I can get everything done before summer gets here!

  5. joenesgarden
    March 7, 2011 at 9:13 am

    This doesn’t sound strange at all, Debbie. I also did an observation stroll around my yard and am anxious as you to get out there to clean up winter’s mess.

  6. joenesgarden
    March 7, 2011 at 9:14 am

    How wonderful for you, Deb. Until all the snow melts from my planting beds I’ll have to enjoy spring through my southern blogging buddies.

  7. March 13, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Joene, Thanks for sharing the sight of those crocus bulbs. Even in my southern PA garden, I’m just starting to see crocus foliage — no flower buds yet. My Maine garden is still buried under about a foot and a half of snow (actually, after days of warm temps and rain, it’s a foot and a half of slush), so no signs of flowers yet here.

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