spring has sprung

spring has sprung

I’ve been waiting for this, for the tiny patch of purple here, the splash of golden yellow there, for the crocus and scilla and hyacinth, the johnny jump-up and colt’s foot, the first flowers of spring.

It’s not easy to find flowers in our neighbourhood, as the deer have been brazen, nibbling the tender new growth as soon as it emerges. There are hoofprints in our flower beds at the front of the house, and signs that the deer have been leaping the fence to empty our bird feeder at the back. Some people put human hair around their tender plants to discourage deer, and others cover their beds with tangles of wire and fencing. Many people seem to have given up; they have no flowers at all.

We, on the other hand, are planning a bountiful crop of flowers, herbs and vegetables. My partner has been poring over seed catalogues and garden advice for months, charting hours of sunlight and drawing beds and borders. We have tiny kohlrabi and calendula seedlings up already, with many more expected to follow soon. And, yes, plants die, they fall prey to fungus and pests, drought and deer, but — this is my philosophy — if you plant generously, there will be enough for the pests, the deer, and you. And perhaps you will discover a patch of carrots miraculously untouched by worms, or a basketful of beans, or a pocket of perfect golden flowers to make you stop, and smile, and marvel at the persistence and bounty of life.

Photo taken on April 3, 2011

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summer collection

The fields are really beautiful at this time of year. In the wild space behind our house, the wildflowers have grown tall in the summer sun. I can see Queen Anne’s lace, goldenrod, yarrow…. and lots of other plants I can’t (yet) name. If you look closely, you might even find a few raspberries and blackberries as well. And everywhere you look, there is lush growth, a riot of greenness that is such a sweet gift after the barren brownness and harsh whiteness of winter. Here’s to you, sweet summertime!

Taken on July 15, 2010