A Fling with Spring

After many years of gardening I have come to expect the unexpected when it comes to the weather. There are years when a very wet spring makes a sharp turn to a hot, dry summer with no rain in sight. In other years winter seems to hang on and on, leaving us waiting impatiently for the garden season to begin.

This year we were enjoying spring, in February. I saw a cherry tree in bloom as well crocus, winter aconite, hellebores and daffodils, to name a few, and even heard the lovely sound of spring peepers singing (my name for the little green frogs I see in the spring). But the experienced gardener in me knows this is just a fling with spring I am enjoying and that winter will soon make an appearance.

I do confess I was swept up in my love affair with the early spring. I went so far as to e-mail all the gardeners in the adopt-a-plot program at my local park asking them to give an hour to our area in the park pulling ivy and weeds and performing a little early spring clean-up. The reply was silence. (Shocking isn’t it?) My fellow park gardeners are smarter than I. As they enjoyed their day in a warm, snug house, I shivered under the shadows of dark clouds and willed my fingers, red from the biting cold, to pull weeds and maneuver the clippers. The spring fling was over, leaving me cold and alone, and feeling a bit silly for planning a garden day in February.

But as quickly as the cold days settled in they were driven away by warm breezes. With windows flung open and flowering bulbs adding color to our otherwise brown landscape, I am now content to read garden books and make garden plans while I await the true spring to make her entrance.

Jenny Koester, AKA The Landless Gardener, is the Garden Blog Editor for Horticulture magazine and the author of The Garden Life and A Year in the Park.

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