Garden Reverie

Signs of Life

IMG_1388 - Version 2As Emma and I came home this morning from our walk, she put her terrier nose to the ground on the trail of exciting new scents and I looked skywards. I noticed that the Viburnum at the corner of the house has lots of fat buds.  Signs of life!

I walked around to see what else may be springing to life.  As it turns out, despite a long winter (for us) and a virtually psychotic March so far, things are coming alive.IMG_1396 - Version 2

Buds on a New Dawn climbing rose.

IMG_1391 - Version 2Creeping Sedum in an urn putting out rosy new growth.IMG_1392 - Version 2Periwinkle (Vinca minor) in bloom!

IMG_1402 - Version 2Even this peony is pushing new red tips up from the cold ground.

IMG_1395 - Version 2The lovely hellebore (Helleborus Orientalis Hybridus) with her perfect pastel flowers drooping from slender stems.IMG_1404 - Version 2

And in another part of the garden, another lovely hellebore loaded with blooms.  I have a lot of shade and I have a lot of hellebores.  In my opinion, there are few garden plants that surpass it for beauty, toughness, usefulness, and longevity of bloom.  If you don’t have any, get some; if you have some, plant more!IMG_1393 - Version 2

In the secret garden, my favorite miniature narcissus is blooming its little head off, nestled next to Aslan, the English lion who guards the entry.  IMG_1394 - Version 2

Here is a peek at another clump.  Its name is Tete a Tete.

IMG_1397 - Version 2Camellias ready to pop open at the side gate.IMG_1398 - Version 2

The ancient money pit elm out front, the last of the original trees on our lot, is loaded with buds.  Its cavities most likely are loaded with squirrel nests, too.  That’s ok.

IMG_1399 - Version 2Not much sign of life in the grass yet but it won’t be long judging from how congested my sinuses are already.

But lest we get too carried away, this winter has taken its toll, too.

My English boxwood toll a heavy toll this winter.This is what is left of one of my beautiful heirloom English boxwoods.  This garden was full of boxwoods planted by the original house’s owner.  They have slowly been dying off, apparently due to the “boxwood decline,” a disease which does not seem to have a cure.  I think the ones in this bed have also suffered from too much water over the past year.  Perhaps the extremes of this winter were the final blow.  I have lost several of them this winter.  Such a shame.

In the herb garden, my beautiful old rosemary seems to have given up the ghost.  We cut it back to the ground to see if anything will emerge.  I doubt it, honestly.  Every gardener I know lost his or her rosemary plants this winter.  Likewise, on the right, my enormous sage, that I planted about 18 years ago, looks like toast.  We’ll see what happens.  Sadly, Old Man Winter’s power did not extend to the killing of the hated curly mint.  No, it will resume its takeover of the world I fear.

But, in the end, the losses, no matter how hard at the time, turn into new challenges and opportunities.  I learned this the hard way from the hurricanes and other curveballs Mother Nature has thrown at me over the years.  If there is only one important life lesson to be learned from gardening, I think this must be it.

The resilience of nature is a constant marvel to me.  We humans can create some astonishing technological marvels but nothing can compare to the incredible and beautiful miracles that an unseen hand gifts us with in the garden.

This entry was published on March 15, 2014 at 5:00 PM. It’s filed under garden, gardening, Glittermoon, photography, Richmond, Virginia and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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