Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Garden Muse Day--Hope Springs Eternal

Earliest Spring

TOSSING his mane of snows in wildest eddies and tangles,
Lion-like March cometh in, hoarse, with tempestuous breath,
Through all the moaning chimneys, and 'thwart all the hollows and angles
Round the shuddering house, threating of winter and death.

But in my heart I feel the life of the wood and the meadow
Thrilling the pulses that own kindred with fibres that lift
Bud and blade to the sunward, within the inscrutable shadow,
Deep in the oak's chill core, under the gathering drift.

Nay, to earth's life in mine some prescience, or dream, or desire
(How shall I name it aright?) comes for a moment and goes--
Rapture of life ineffable, perfect--as if in the brier,
Leafless there by my door, trembled a sense of the rose.
--William Dean Howells

The last remnants of snow have melted, the temperatures are rising, and I think I've spotted a few specks of green in the garden.  But the month of March can be a real tease in this part of Illinois--we are just as likely to have snowstorms as thunderstorms in March, and most of my spring bloomers won't appear for several weeks.  Still, the calendar says the first day of spring arrives in less than three weeks, and that's good enough for me.  I feel my spirits lifting, and my step is getting lighter.

First crocuses of 2010 bloomed on March 23.
Soon, the first miniature blooms will appear, announcing the arrival of spring.

First daffodils of 2010 bloomed in late March.

Then "a host of daffodils" will be dancing in the breeze.

Mid-April 2010

Followed by the later narcissus.

Early April 2010

Purple hyacinths will perfume the air.

April 2010 was unusually warm, and the crabapples bloomed early

Soon the crabapples will burst into bloom, providing a bower of pink and white along the lane.

Tulips also emerged early in 2010--mid to late April, but they didn't last as long in the warm temperatures.

The last act of this unfolding drama will be tulip time, lasting well into the month of May.

'Angelique', my favorite tulip of all.

Just a few more weeks, and the show begins.  I can't wait!

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.  ~Hal Borland

Garden Muse Day is hosted the first of each month by the ever-gracious Carolyn Gail at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago.


  1. I like this poem Rose. It is perfect for this time of year. Your photos set my heart to racing with all that color. Aahhh. There are "thrilling pulses" in my garden with a few crosus and hellebores blooming. It is so exciting. Heard the first Spring Peeper yesterday. A nice way to end February. Happy March.

  2. Hi Rose. I've always luved that Hal Borlund quote and think of it often when it feels that spring will NEVER make an appearance.

    There are no tulips in our yard. I don't plant them because of an over abundance of squirrels in our neighborhood. Seeing your photos makes me feel that maybe I should plant them anyway and hope that Mr. Gray Squirrel doesn't take them all.

    I remember everything being early last spring, too. Your hyacinth photo makes my heart ache for spring.

    We were in IL last weekend....St. Charles. Way less snow there than up here.


  3. Less than 3 weeks. I can live with that, but barely, and only with reminder photos like yours (those sweet apple blossoms) to keep my faith in spring alive. Your part of Ilionois sounds like here in southern New England with its unpredictable and sometimes late springs!

  4. Hello, Rose. What a wonderful poem; if only I could write like that! ;)
    Your lovely fotos and flowers have me pumped!

    I am pleased to hear that your snow is now gone and warmth is on the way. We had very little snow, but our temps did dip into the teens this past week, and now the much needed rain has returned. Hard to believe it is March 1.

  5. This winter has seemed to last forever and it is relinquishing its icy grip very slowly. I am waiting with breathless anticipation for sights such as these.

  6. What a lovely upbeat post Rose! I loved the poem and quote of course :)

    Such beautiful photos to remind us of what is just around the corner, I do love the Spring...apple blossom against a blue sky...just wonderful!

    I was stopped in my tracks by your Angelique, what a beauty she is, I have had to look at her several times and have also looked to see if she is available here which she is. I see that she has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit and their website says this of her.

    'Angelique is prized for its delicacy, its graceful form and unique colouring. The petals are full and luxuriant, slightly ruffled, shading from shell pink to darker pink. From a distance, you could easily mistake these tulips for peonies.'

    Thank you Rose, something else to add to my wish list :)

  7. Happy Garden Bloggers' March Muse Day, Rose :) Spring is near ... as beautifully shown, it won't be long now!

  8. Love the ending quote! I can't wait for spring!

  9. A nice refreshing post with some gorgeous spring bloomers!

  10. You do take good photos and those bulbs will soon be blossoming in your garden.
    My tiny daffodils are already in bloom and the snowdrops are over already.
    Spring is round the corner now (though technically here.)
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  11. Spring, spring, where are you? Dont worry, she will be there soon, she is visiting GA right now and will be on her way in no time at all....

  12. I bet you're glad the snow is gone. It won't be long before those beautiful spring flowers are blooming. Your crabapple trees always amaze me with their loveliness.

  13. I remember how warm it was last March, with flowers blooming early and no snow (here anyway). It was awesome! One of my grandsons has a birthday early in March and we actually went for dairy queen ice cream! Unheard of in March!!

    Loved looking at your dress rehersal of spring bulbs. Can't wait until the Real Show! LOL

  14. Your photos are excellent. I am really regretting not planting more bulbs last fall. I will have to just enjoy the bulbs I see around town. There is a guy in Boulder who fills up his entire front yard with tulips etc. ( no grass whatsoever.) It is something to behold!

  15. Lisa, No spring peepers here yet!

    Donna, Last year was such a beautiful spring; wouldn't it be nice to have a repeat performance?

    Laurrie, From what I've seen of New England photos lately, winter is hanging on there even longer.

    Di, We may still have snow, but at least it shouldn't last long. Today was beautiful!

    Layanee, A beautiful day today--it's given me spring fever.

    Songbird, Thank you for sharing this info on the 'Angelique'! Its blooms do look much like a peony, and I love the delicate pink color. Every year I plant a few more.

    Joey, Happy Muse Day to you, too! We'll soon be looking at blooms like this for real.

    Rose, I like this quote, too, especially since it relates to life as well.

    Tina, I can't wait to see these blooms again this year.

    Maggie, I wish I had snowdrops! Mine either were eaten or heaved up by the ice last winter.

    Skeeter, Yes, Georgia appears to be in full springtime mode. Looking forward to it moving farther north.

    Sweetbay, Crabapple time is one of my favorites of the whole year, even though it lasts for such a short time.

    Wendy, I remember, too, how warm last March and April were. I'm hoping for more of the same this year.

    Rosey, I would love to have a whole front yard full of tulips! What a gorgeous display that must be.

  16. can't wait to see blooms this year! that last tulip is gorgeous.

  17. What a wonderful poem. I always love to read poems like that while looking with those gorgeous flowers. I like the Angelique the most. Keep writing poems for me. I am really a big fan of a creative writer. Thanks.

  18. Dear Rose, I loved these previews of coming attractions! We are ahead of last year's blooms here in TN, but considered last year to be quite late. What is normal? Who can tell, but your beautiful bower will always bring a smile! :-)

  19. Dear Rose,
    Happy March. she came in tip-toeing gentle and mild here....thundershowers now washing away the last tiny bits of snow. Soon we will have daffodils and tulips!
    Looking at your gorgeous photographs reminded me of just how much I love Spring. I hope she lingers this year.

  20. Sigh..such pretties..soon my friend you'll see them smiling at you once again. Spring is coming!

  21. Gorgeous and wonderful to remember that it's all just around the corner.


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