Skip to content

The Miracle of Spring

May 7, 2023

I never get tired of the miracle that is spring. It begins with the lengthening days that tell us that spring is on its way, even as the snow continues to pile up on the ground. Then, as snow begins to melt around the foundation of the house and in the garden, new growth appears and crocuses splash their vibrant colors around a landscape that has come to seem drab and dreary.

By early April, enough snow has melted that I can resume my “morning tour of the garden,” a ritual of taking my first mug of tea out with me as I walk slowly through the garden to see what is happening – and at this time of year, there is something new happening almost every day. In mid-April, enough snow has melted that I can begin spring cleanup in the garden; removing spent plant debris reveals still more new growth pushing up through the soil. daffodils2 2023

Part of the miracle of spring is its predictability, the way the cycle of the seasons brings it back around each year. On my morning walks through the garden, I greet old friends as they return for another year. And, because I know what is coming, part of the magic is the delight of anticipation. I find myself counting the clumps of crocus that have emerged from under the snow, the clumps of daffodils with flower buds showing, or the number of hostas with nubs of new growth breaking the surface of the soil.

But, even as the spring miracle is predictable, it is also different each year. This year, for example, a string of unseasonably warm days in April meant that the crocuses went by in a flash. But the warmth was followed by a stretch of cool, rainy days that have resulted in an exceptionally long-lasting and luxurious display of daffodils. Last year, a woodchuck (Marmota monax) feeding in the garden in spring ate many plants down to the ground, especially in the new woodland border, so that they never had a chance to bloom. This year, with no woodchuck in evidence, I am enjoying the sight of the first flowers on early meadow rue (Thalictrum dioicum) and woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Moon’).

bluets 2022In April, each instance of new foliage appearing and each flower is a special event. By May, however, most plants are up out of the ground and the pace of blooming picks up dramatically. During the past week, I have seen flowers open on a number of spring-flowering native plants in my garden, including bluets (Houstonia caerulea), wild strawberries (Fragaria virginiana) and sweet white violets (Viola blanda). As the garden season progresses, the miracle of early spring will give way to the beautiful floral display of late spring and then to the exuberant bounty of color that is high summer. And every day will thrill me.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2023 7:37 pm

    After the weirdly wintry winter here, it is more obvious why spring is so pleasurable in New England!

    • May 12, 2023 11:47 am

      LOL, Tony, that about covers it! I remember that one of the things I found discomfiting when I lived in Southern California for a couple of years after college was the predictable sameness of the weather for months on end.

      • May 13, 2023 2:52 pm

        It can get boring. The climate here gets a bit more chill though winter, which is why stone fruit perform so well in the Santa Clara Valley.

  2. Ellen permalink
    May 8, 2023 5:56 am

    Beautiful 😍🌞

  3. Donna Donabella permalink
    May 8, 2023 11:57 am

    Jean what a pleasure to see your spring garden again. Although my garden is tiny now, I too enjoy looking for new plants as they begin to come up.

    • May 12, 2023 11:48 am

      Donna, That reemergence of dormant plants in spring is still magic no matter how many times we’ve already experienced it.

  4. May 8, 2023 2:17 pm

    Your post captures the excitement of spring well, Jean. The daffodils have already disappeared here and even though it’s been a relatively cold-cool spring here, I’m already seeing signs of the progression in the direction of summer. However, there are no Agapanthus buds yet so I can’t yet declare that the switch has flipped.

    • May 12, 2023 11:52 am

      Kris, the daffodils were so amazing here because the early ones that bloomed in April were in a state of suspended animation as later varieties came into bloom during our cool, rainy stretch of weather. As soon as the temperature got back up to 70F, though, those early varieties went, “We’re done!” At this point, all that is left are a few late varieties, including a very late one which is just starting to open.

  5. permalink
    May 9, 2023 11:18 pm

    Your elation is palpable!

    Janet M. Powers

    The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe, the less taste we shall have for destruction.

    Rachel Carson

    • May 12, 2023 11:58 am

      Jan, The garden is such a source of joy in my life. I admit that my elation has dimmed a bit now that the blackflies are out and a young woodchuck has taken up residence in the garden. (I’m glad I had a few days to enjoy the beautiful blue flowers of woodland phlox before they all got eaten, but I wish I had taken a few minutes to photograph them before they disappeared!)

      • Janet Powers permalink
        May 12, 2023 11:17 pm

        Isn’t there some organic repellant you can use for the woodchuck? My problem is squirrels digging in my pots of herbs and flowers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: