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Early Spring in Deb's garden

Redbud trees are blooming.But the garden is a mess. Bales of pine straw are waiting to be spread. A large heap of mulch and sacks of sand and soil are off to one side. Heavy pavers for a new walkway are stacked upon a pallet. Projects are being attacked that should have been completed already but haven't been, because who wants to work in the icy temperatures that we were having until recently?

It is all very exciting, and my garden juices are flowing like the river that rushes over Niagara Falls; and I go headfirst, tumbling till I hit bottom and realize I can't do this. I am fortunate to have Lou, who is retired and is an eager helper. So I am the supervisor, and we will get it done when we get it done.

Every year is like this, and I wonder if the time will come when everything is completed, and all we have to do in the spring is to tidy up, then sit back on the patio and drink refreshing drinks while we listen to the birds chirp. I doubt it, for there is always another project on the horizon, whether or not we know it. When we become too feeble for gardening, then we will pass the garden to younger souls with stronger bodies and new ambition. Or maybe it will simply die away, a lost garden choked by weeds and held alive only in fading memories. I can accept that.

But for now, I still feel the rush. Washes of color are showing up in the gray landscape. The bright orange of flowering quince:

The magenta-pink and white of Jane magnolia:

The bright yellow of forsythia and the lavender-pink of redbuds:

Below left, the hellebores are fading but still beautiful; and though many of the daffodils have finished blooming, there are still lovelies out there, including the pristine white one below right:

Early spring in my garden is busy, busy, busy. We must get so much accomplished before summer's heat puts a stop to it. Yet what is that worth if we don't appreciate the beauty, if we don't watch the bluebirds and hawks and geese flying overhead, if we fail to hear the songs of nature or to smell the rich perfumes in the air? So I take time to sit with a refreshing drink, and I thank God for the earth He has given us to work upon.


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Reader Comments (19)

Your garden is so wonderful. I love all your plants and colors. I am delightedyour magnolia.
Have a lovely week :)

March 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEla

Your garden is so beautiful Debs with a great atmosphere too that jumps out from the photos. Loving the woodland atmosphere and all the early spring colour that has erupted so far. It's a busy time of the year but in a good way. It can be a messy period too but gardeners understand and it's part and parcel of preparing the garden for the new growing season :)

March 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

Our redbuds are just about ready to open. It's lovely to see them in your garden. Your flowering quince and magnolia are gorgeous!

If you think your garden is a mess you should see mine! LOL I haven't cleared out many of the old stems yet because the birds are still using them for cover.

March 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSweetbay

Hmmmm...I sensed that maybe spring was happening like gangbusters in the south. That is very good news. It means we will experience it soon, too. ;-) Still very wintry here in the north, but the birds are mating and singing, so it can't be far off. Your flowering Quinces and Magnolias are stunning!

March 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPlantPostings

Oh do take time to stop and enjoy the season with all its myriad pleasures.

As Ferris Bueller so memorably put it, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around, you might miss it."

March 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAaron Dalton

I just love Magnolia. We have some hardy here, but you have the most beautiful in your warmer climate. Your garden is stunning in Spring. I also really like Redbud, but they are temperamental here too. I am like you questioning the work in a garden and whether my health will hold up. Although small, it is still trying sometimes to keep up with it. Would be nice to sit back and relax.

March 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

I hear a note of melancholy in your voice Debbie; is your hip still giving you a lot of pain. I’m so sorry, and I do know what you mean about the garden after the gardener is gone. I’m sure mine would soon revert to weeds and disappear; yours though with all the beautiful trees would endure for much longer. Enjoy spring and don’t think of the future. Live for the moment; it is all we have.

March 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Deb, we know all we want or "need" to do will never get done; even the young and healthy and strong never can do it all. But you still have more spring beauty than the average gardener. And your redbud, one of my favorite trees, reminds me to put one on my still very long list.

March 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLee May

The flowering trees are beautiful. I worry about some of the same things, Deb. My right knee is a perpetual problem (surgery is probably in my future) and I'm already getting some arthritis in my hands but I push myself - and my husband - to work our projects while we can. I hope I have 10-20 years (or more!) of gardening left in me but, if that's cut short, I'll regroup and simplify. Have you read Sydney Eddison's book, "Gardening for a Lifetime"?

March 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

I hear you, I hear you! So much to be done before the stifling heat arrives. All your "bloomies" are beautiful but the flowering quince was most stunning. Have never seen one before.

March 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Jones

Hi Dear,
oh, what a beauty your garden is!!! The magnolia is like in a dream. I love it! I can imagine this garden is a lot of work - but, you're about to create a paradise!
All the best from Austria

March 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTante Mali

Oh the great spring tidy - I love it! It really shouldn't be stressful, but there is always a sense of urgency. I try to calm myself down by cultivating the art of looking at a border and not actually seeing what is there. Instead I pretend it's looking perfect (it helps if I don't wear my glasses). Good luck with all the work - and well done Lou for being so helpful.

March 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Shoesmith

I can merely gaze with absolute delight on your flowering anythings....lol. It snowed here, and it's supposed to do that again. I'm wondering when my redbud will start to bloom, it's only a few feet tall.


March 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

"When we become too feeble for gardening, then we will pass the garden to younger souls with stronger bodies and new ambition. Or maybe it will simply die away, a lost garden choked by weeds and held alive only in fading memories."

You are a poet. I have often had these thoughts about my mortality and whether anyone who comes along after me will appreciate my flowers and trees, but I could never have expressed those insecurities as beautifully as you did. Life is short; do what you love...

March 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

The pink magnolia, Redbud and quince are especially lovely. I can so dentify with this post. I have so many projects I want to get done this spring. But you're right, spring is fleeting and it is important to take time to enjoy it fully.

March 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Oh wow! Look at the beauties you already have, Deb! I used to have a redbud but it died out after about 8 years and I still miss it. And I too realize how much i will enjoy being out there again but how much pain I'll be in, after doing the hard lifting and hauling.
Such is the life of a gardener I suppose.
You are very lucky to have Lou.

March 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid

now we've had some rain, today I was digging. Adding cuttings to bits that needed filling in.

March 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

Oh how I understand everything you are saying. I have a million spring projects that I want to start, then run out of time or energy or money and resort to, "Maybe next year." There is indeed a short window in the south between icy winter weather and brutal summer heat.

I feel much the same way...it will get when it gets done or until we are too feeble to garden...but yes first and foremost enjoy the beauty. Your garden is stunning in early spring. You could nothing else but a bit of clean up and it would be perfect.

March 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View
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