I took a quick stroll through my garden this morning and was so excited to see a few of my favorite signs of spring.
First up, my Lenten Rose. This lovely is always the first thing to emerge in my garden every year. My sweet friend Beth gave it to me a couple of years ago. She was moving and gave me a truck load of things from her garden. I think of her every time I see this beauty in bloom. Once I see it emerging from the leaves and rubble that winter has left in my garden, I know that spring is on its way.
The second sign was seeing the Cardinal family that lives in one of our Dogwood tees back and chirping away. I know that they aren't really "back" since I am pretty sure they live here year round, but I just don't see much of them in the cold months. Maybe that is because I am not out much during the cold months! I wonder if maybe they were looking at me and thinking I was a sign of spring?
The iris are coming up too, everywhere. When we bought our house the lady who lived here had a large iris bed behind the garage. It needed thinning badly and seemed to be a waste hidden behind the garage. Since I had added several new beds that needed filler, I dug them all up and moved them and spread them out. It took days to replant them all. It was like that magician's trick with the never ending hanky, the more I dug up, the more starts there were underneath. There were seriously iris growing on iris.
They appreciated the move and showed me so by multiplying, again and again, and again. Every year since I have thinned them out and transplanted the dug up pieces. For some reason it felt wrong to throw them away. So I transplanted and moved iris multiple times each season. Again they rewarded me by multiplying. I now have iris coming out of every nook and cranny of my garden.
I have given away what seems like hundreds of starts off of them until no one else will take anymore. Finally last year I started pulling them up and composting them. Of course I was rewarded with iris in my compost pile. To say the least, in my garden they have become invasive. By the end of the season, I started pulling some and throwing them in the trash. It felt wrong, but I felt like I was at the end of my iris rope! I have to say though, when they are in bloom, the sea of purple iris is a lovely show. People comment on it as they walk past. The stop and the sidewalk to take it in. I offer them starts, please take some home!
So while I appreciated the signs of spring I was also struck by the large amount of clean up I have to do to be ready for spring and garden season. It is almost overwhelming. . . I need to remove all of the leaves and trash that have blown in, the iris control, and the clipping back of all the things that grew crazy out of control by the end of summer and didn't get trimmed in the fall like they should have (like that crazy climbing rose bush on my porch pillar), the dust and dirt caked to the rockers and railings on the porch making them grey and not white, and by the the crazy amount of mulch I need to bring in. When that moment hits me, I always wonder why I felt the need to have such crazy huge flower beds in my yard. I stand there and wonder what I was thinking, that I went too far and added way too many beds. . . that I don't have time for all of this clean up and maintenance, that the war with the weeds will once again beat me when the heat of summer comes.
Just about that time when my mind is reeling with all of the thoughts of "work", I get distracted by a bare corner in my backyard and start dreaming of a new bed. I feel a sweet soft wave of spring air, and I hear our Cardinal family chirping happily above. I forget about the "work" and wonder where I left my gloves and rake. If you need me later, I will be in my garden. Welcome spring, I love you.