Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spring Promises

Spring comes slowly this year
The earth awakens from its long slumber,
Yawns, and shudders.
Heaving up startled hostas
Their brown buds still sleeping,
Awakening green shoots of
Hyacinths nestled in their spiky cocoons
And small leaves of mystery
Waiting to unfold.
All promises of wonders
Soon to come.

I don't usually write poetry, and I'm obviously not very good at it, but there is something about spring that makes one wax poetic, isn't there? We have had three glorious days of sunshine and warm temperatures in the 60's, allowing me time to work outside and get some flowerbeds ready for the "real" gardening to come in a few weeks. I've been eagerly checking the spring bulbs, like the daffodil about to burst into bloom above, and discovered that under all those mounds of leaves there were some other surprises. I have been jealous of all of you posting your lovely spring blooms and greening perennials, so I hope you don't mind me showing off my promises of spring.

The hyacinths are slowly emerging and have changed from green to blue in the past week.

The tulips are growing every day, but they are all mid to late spring tulips, so it may be a few weeks yet before they bloom.

Then there are the mysteries--what did I plant here?? The stems look like tulips, but I don't think they are supposed to be in a clump.

Some of the perennials are beginning to emerge as well, such as the sedum pictured here and my salvia. No signs yet of the coneflowers, though.

The nepeta is also coming up nicely, this one a "Walker's Low." All the gardening magazines and catalogues tout it as a catmint that cats will leave alone. Apparently, Tarzan didn't read that page; maybe I'll have to show it to him and the other cats.

Now I understand what is meant by winter heaving. I expanded my tiny shade garden last fall--spading it up inch by inch over several days' time--and planted a few new blue hostas that I can't wait to see. I discovered, though, that most of them had been unwillingly thrust above ground. I patted them all back into the soil yesterday; I do hope they make it.

A friend of mine gave me a clump of what she called "Siberian Iris" a few years ago; perhaps

someone can tell me what their actual name is. They have never bloomed for me, though they are "greening up" nicely this year. Maybe this will be the year for blooms!

Another possible mystery--I do hope this is my aster coming up, because that is what is supposed to be here! When I first began gardening a few years ago, I read an article by a gardening expert who said she never pulled up anything that might be a weed until she was sure what it was. Sounded like a good idea to me, so I have followed that philosophy although sometimes I have foot-tall weeds before I know what they are.

This photo is the perfect reason for keeping a gardening journal and taking photos of your garden. Obviously, I did neither last year, so instead of the tulips I thought I had planted I have an empty space.

Although it is much too early here to plant most flowers, I couldn't resist planting the primroses I bought last weekend. Aren't they cheerful?

And, of course, a pot of pansies near the door.

April can be a tease in the Midwest. We may still get a snow shower, and we'll certainly still have nights of frost. But at least now I can see the promise of springtime flowers soon to come.
(My apologies for all the blank space--Blogger seems to have a mind of its own, no matter how hard I try to eliminate extra spacing.)


  1. Lovely stroll around your garden, to see the plants appearing in another part of the world.
    The pansies and primroses always cheer and give a promise of things to come.
    Poetry is lovely, I enjoy reading other peoples verse, it gives a great insight into them.
    Nice post Rose.

  2. Very well done! I loved the verse!

    So far this year I don't have any mystery plants. They may still show up though. Your bare spot could have been cause by mice or squirrels. They love bulbs. We are going to have to work on keeping our journals more complete, especially if we want to post about our flowers!

  3. Thanks for the compliments, Cheryl and Beckie. As I said, I don't usually write poetry, let alone let anyone else read it. Thanks for encouraging me.
    Perhaps the squirrels did take my bulbs in that bare spot, but my faulty memory is just as likely a culprit.

  4. I love your spring promises. What a great post. You have lots to look forward to in your garden. The weather is unpredictable here to, we had snow last weekend but a few days earlier it almost felt like summer.
    I'm also interested to read that you have trouble with the spacing on your blog. It does that to me sometimes, it seems to have something to do with adding photos. It's very anoying... I like to be tidy!!!

  5. I'm pretty sure you're right about the aster. It looks like mine.
    I do the same with weeds. Never pull until you know for sure. I lost too many new perennials that way.
    Thanks for visitng my site. I appreciate the comment.

  6. Suburbia,
    Thanks for the compliments. I must have edited this post 5 times, trying to get out the extra spaces, and they still showed up! Grrrr. Hope you had a good holiday.

    Jane Marie, Thanks for the encouragement on the aster.
    I also love your icon (not sure if that is what you call it) of the little girl playing the piano. I took piano lessons for many years, too, but unfortunately didn't keep it up like you and now I'm a very rusty pianist, playing "Fur Elise" over and over again until I can get it right. Thanks for visiting.

  7. Rose, on the subject of weed or not.. I read a quote somewhere that says if you pull it and it comes out of the ground easily-it's an expensive plant!

  8. Hi -just found your blog site via Cheryl.... it appears that my black and white cat Hamish and Tarzan have something in common!!! Hamish just goes mental if there's nepeta in leaf and adores it - it's just like drugs for cats!!

    Spring is such a pretty time with everything starting to emerge after the winter hibernation... Miranda

  9. Hi Rose - love the poem! There must be something in the air this week as I was struck to do the same and I don't usually write poems either!

    Great set of photos from your garden too. I love your cat. Ours don't read the manual either.

    Have a great weekend!

  10. Oh and I've had the spacing problem as well. I usually take the new paragraph back to the end of the last one (so it looks like 1 paragraph) and the hit the Shift and the return key at the same to for as many times as needed to get the spacing I want.

    Does that improve things for you?

  11. Miranda, Thanks for dropping by. I have visited your site before, but apparently didn't have time to leave a comment. I really enjoyed the photos from Cornwall. Yes, I'm not too sure who decided that cats leave nepeta alone, but they obviously didn't check it out very much! The nepeta doesn't seem to mind, though.

    VP, Thanks for the encouragement on the poetry. I usually write a few lines of a poem and then lose my inspiration--spring is a great muse!
    Thanks for the info on the spacing;I was really getting frustrated with it. I'll try your suggestion next time.

  12. Hi Rose,

    In Illinois you are a few weeks behind us here in Charlotte - my salvia just bloomed this week, the coneflowers are green, daffodils are finished and the tulips are up. It's been an unseasonably cold spring but the last two days reached near 80. Tomorrow? 30's overnight with a frost warning! Sooo...we all wait with you.

    You liked my hummingbird photos so try this:


    They are a few shots I took last summer when I had a crowd of 15. I'm hoping for a crowd this year, too :o)

    Happy Spring!


  13. Mary, Thanks for dropping by and for directing me to your earlier post. What great photos of the hummingbirds!
    Until a few weeks ago, I didn't know that much about their migration and other habits. They are truly amazing creatures, aren't they?
    I'm looking forward to seeing more of your photos of them this spring.

  14. Rose, you should write more poetry then. I loved it!

    I don't have cats anymore, and since DH isn't a cat person, I don't plan to have one anytime soon. But when I did have cats, they just loved the nepeta in my garden, as much as catnip. I guess they don't call it catmint for nothin'!


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