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For we keepers of the Earth, a sure fire way to help alleviate the winter blahs is to witness little noticed signs that tell us we will indeed experience the annual miracle called spring, once more. Those signs instill profound hope.
I start looking for signs of spring before all the leaves have fallen in autumn. Probably the first to arrive is the buds on maple trees. Sometimes I think they're there before the leaves fall, just obscured by them.
I'm not the only one to look for these early harbingers of a new growing season. The squirrels await their arrival, too. They relish them. With not much to eat except nuts from their store, the maple buds must provide a tasty and nutritious change.
I propagated more plants this past year than any previous year. I have so many rose rootings, I'll have to advertise a give away, this spring. Last year, I gave away all my blackberry bushes and replaced them with two sweeter and larger varieties. And of course, I have already rooted several of these new varieties.
While sorting my rose rootings and setting aside the ones I'll give away, I happened to notice one had a tiny bloom on it. With a lot more bitter cold on the way, it's hardly likely it will open. So be it. Knowing this little plant just can't wait to start it's reproduction cycle causes me to feel optimistic about the arrival of spring.
As most of us are aware, the bulb type flowers are among the first to bloom in the new year. Tulips and crocus and daffodils give us a much needed jolt of color after a few months of 'drab'.
My Paperwhite narcissus seem to be the most impatient of all. I've had trouble getting these little fellas to bloom. As they have sent up strong, healthy shoots in mid January, I'm confident they will bloom and permit me to once again partake of their unique and delicious perfume.
How many more springtimes before our little space ship called Earth turns to dust and is returned to the very stars it came from? Don't be troubled. We each will witness all the springtimes we could possibly hope for. Yes!
No matter where you live, spring is fickle. Around here, it arrives unexpectedly-usually in mid March. Winter temporarily loosens its grip, the sun sends temperatures soaring into the 50's, ice and snow give way to the sound of running water, and the thick, fresh smell of hummus hangs in the air as the soil begins to thaw. Your senses start to sharpen, your body starts to come alive, and suddenly you're filled with a sense of inspiration and hope. "Yippee!" you shout. "Spring is coming!" Then comes the inevitable heartbreak. The clouds roll in, the mercury plummets, water turns back into ice, and spring retreats for a few more weeks under another blanket of wet, heavy snow.
What a lovely time to look forward to - gardening in the spring when frost is no longer on the ground. We rototill the vegetable garden to prepare it for planting and place wooden sticks in the ground to which we tie string.
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Do you ever plant your seeds or bulbs, and rose bushes, in spring, only to spend the next few weeks going out to check how many millimeters they've grown since the last time you checked - 2 hours ago? LOL I do, and am right now! The hardest part of spring for me is waiting for things to come up and bloom!
So I came up with a solution! Silk flowers! I went to the Dollar store today and spent $13 on silk flowers. When I got home I cut each flower off the "base," then I took all the flowers and stuck them all around my gardens where I have bulbs planted. I also got some silk roses and stuck them among my real rose bushes.
Now I have flowers to enjoy NOW until my real ones come up and bloom! Once they do I'll take up all the silk ones and wash them off and keep till next year!
By Cricket from Parkton, NC