A garden is all about new beginnings

“I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,
If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
Sing robin, sing:
I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring.”   

–  Christina Rossetti

By the end of March I’m eagerly looking for flower buds, pulling out seed packs and straining to hear bird songs.  The ancient Romans started the year in the month of March and that calendar orientation sure feels right as winter winds down.

A little while ago, folks from the software company we use for our desig ns reached out to ask if I’d interview for a blog post about women in landscaping.  Speaking with them, and later, with one of their colleagues, for a trade article on the same subject, reminded me of that moment, more than 10 years ago, that I decided to change careers, moving from teaching to landscaping.  Interestingly, it was in March that I committed to taking that leap.

Nature reminds us of spring’s promise that there are always opportunities for new beginnings.

Watching the resiliency of bulbs and buds as they push out new growth in freezing weather gives me the courage to break out of old patterns and the hope that comes with the opportunity to start fresh.  Over 50 now, I’m especially grateful to have this annual reminder that is never too late to begin to grow again.

Later today, if weather warms, I’ll be able to plant peas – a St. Patrick’s Day tradition.  In a few weeks, those seeds will be small plants.  And so, the adventure of this new garden year begins.

Hello new life.  Hello flowers budding in harsh winds.  Hello hope.

Planting peas for St. Patrick’s Day?  Here’s a link to some basics from Maryland’s Home and Garden information center.

Time to plant strawberries?

Johnny’s Seeds sent us our bare root strawberry plants at the ‘appropriate planting time for our region.’

Hoping today’s rain will wash away the last of the snow so we can plant them.


Getting ready to plant peas: apprentice gardener Kris learns how to pull winter weeds, add compost and turn the soil. Love this excuse to pass off the heavy lifting and just show up for the planting….

Got an old blender?

Love this idea for a cloche to protect seedlings from the cold that a client showed me yesterday. Thanks, Mary!

Fresh Figs

Ahh…figs just off the tree before the rain knocks them down on the deck…

Besides fresh, anyone got a favorite recipe? Thinking a little blue cheese, maybe some walnuts and honey…

Time for Fall Crops!

Time to think fall crops. Weather has finally cooled down a bit and we are thinking of lettuces and greens and beets and carrots (which always do better for me in the fall). Given the successful overwintering of broccoli last year, maybe even spring too…Check out Johnny’s suggestions here: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/t-Summer_Plant_Fall_Harvest.aspx?source=Home_Slide1_072013#vegetables


Oldest son- ‘Mom, we’re out of fruit.’
Mom- ‘Not sure when I can get to the store.’

Serendipitous moment-Walking outside with dog and noticing that the berries you hadn’t checked on in a few days are ripe and ready.

Breakfast taken care of…

New cocktail mixer?

We’ve been planting Aronia arbutifolia (Chokeberry) for a while now. Chokeberry is a native shrub whose beautiful fall color is a great sub. for the invasive Burning Bush.

But you get a lot more with Aronia: Flowers and edible berries. Read Amy Stewart’s blog post about Aronia cocktails here: http://gardenrant.com/2013/05/ill-have-my-aronia-cocktail-now-please.html

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