Monday, February 28, 2011


Spring in my heart

Another storm rages here in Maine today. I look out the windows over the whitescape that is the garden, hidden beneath three feet of snow and rising, and wonder when this winter will end. I suspect in April, but May seems a distinct possibility. I know there are crocuses and daffodils sleeping under there. And herbs and perennials and wildflowers and lilacs and green grass. It's amazing when you really think about it. Brave and mysterious are the ways of nature.

Over the weekend I got out my gardening journal and wrote the first entry of the year, after ordering seeds, and onion and shallot sets, and making rough maps of what to plant where in the vegetable garden this time around. After writing a page, I took a look through at the last few years and remembered: that which is dormant will return. The ferns on the shady north side of the house always awaken early:

Then the grass begins to green up again and johnny-jump-ups appear and turn their faces up to the sun. I've always loved their other name - heart's ease - it's poetry:

As the summer comes on, clumps of lupine bloom in front of the snow fence by the driveway. Their peppery scent is a joy. My journal measures about 9" x 12" so this is a full-page illustration - usually I write a lot and fit in small drawings around the edges, but in this case I wanted to get the whole thing - nibbled top, foliage, seed pods, and all:

In a small bed by the kitchen door - mint, lemon balm, tarragon, and lavender all winter over, and then I plant sweet peas to climb up on the porch railing and Alaska mix nasturtiums, from seed. They are well underway by midsummer and flower right up until frost comes in the early fall:

That's it for today. I've been keeping this journal for three years now, and will fill it up this year if I remember to add to it as the seasons turn. Pictures I didn't show this time: forget-me-nots, bleeding hearts, blueberries, a maple syrup tap, my old galvanized watering can, wild strawberries, chive blossoms, tulips, peaches, apples, onions, seed potatoes, gardening gloves.

Outside the storm rages on. Inside it's spring in my heart.

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