Hope ‘Springs’ Eternal!

I am hopeful for an early spring this year. This hope comes as I look at the temperature outside and realize it’s a chilly 33 degrees Fahrenheit. And that’s without the wind chill and the freezing rain/snow that’s been blowing around all day long. Once this winter storm passes, though, I’m going to hold out for spring to come early and stay. We deserve it. It’s time. And I think I may have evidence of such an event blooming in my yard. Walking the garden, I notice that I have a lot of things blooming much earlier this year.

Of course, I say that every year because it’s about this time that those of us who are the uber-gardeners start chomping at the bit to get outside and put our hands in the dirt. It’s true. I have been happiest with dirt under my nails and leaves in my hair. Fortunately, I married a good man who doesn’t mind a few twigs. In the past this extreme love of the garden has vied for space in my psyche with my love of sailing. I admit that many times I have let Mike go down to the boat by himself, preferring to putter around in the garden snipping this, digging that. My garden is beautiful. I’ve had many years of pleasure creating and maintaining it. Gardens are world’s in and of themselves. Ask any passionate gardener.

Last year I noticed that my feelings had changed. I still loved the garden, but I started choosing to go down to the boat rather than work all day. I allowed once pampered plants to fend for themselves. “Live or die”, I said to them. “You choose.” (Yep, I do talk to my plants.)  The balance was tipping; the downhill slide into full fledged boat craziness had begun. I bought a hammock, put it up on the boat, and commenced laying in it with a good book.

I usually don’t do much in moderation, a karmic lesson that will take me a lifetime to learn properly. So once the balance shifts, it’s a little like riding a freight train. Still, the karma requires that I throttle back the engine some and pay attention to the fullness of my life now, not simply the life I want to lead in the future. So I’m trying. In so doing, I go out to my garden and look at what’s blooming, plan what needs to happen this year; make time and space in the psyche for plants I still love and spaces that still feed my soul.

Here are some photos I took while walking the garden on a sunny day this week. The Hellebores are blooming! I love them because they bloom in the winter, then keep nice foliage the rest of the year. They are no muss, no fuss plants with a lot of impact.  And they don’t need much sun, which is good because I don’t have much to give them up here.

Hellebores, who give up their beauty in the depths of winter, are the promise of the spring yet to emerge for us. They are the hope-keepers of the garden, bridging the memory of gardens past  with the vision for the garden’s future. They say to us, ‘Just wait patiently for the future to emerge. No need to hurry. Appreciate me right now.’ And I love them for it, and try to listen.

Helleborus orientalis, yellow strain

Hellebore 'Regal Ruffles Mix'

Unidentified Hellebore, otherwise known as a "NOID"

A nice color combination in Hellebores.

Another pretty yellow. I put in lots of yellows one year. Now they are getting big.

Hellebore 'Kingston Cardinal', one of the best.



11 thoughts on “Hope ‘Springs’ Eternal!

  1. Beautiful Garden! Yes, it is a process to shift from all the things we love to do on land to the boat.

    I am a busy body..as it sounds like you are…If I lived on the boat full time, i’m sure it would be in immaculate condition..I love projects and feeling rewarded when I make a difference.

    However it is also nice to sit back and relax more…read more, write more, sleep more.

  2. Busy body, yes I think that accurately describes how I’ve been most of my life. But I’m learning! Reading, writing, SLEEPING! It’s all good!

  3. Lovely garden! Just yesterday Kitty, Maura and I cut roses from the garden and put them in a vase. Since I don’t know if my time with my roses will be 6 months or a year but I know the time is coming to say goodbye, I try to enjoy them as much as I can. I also keep in mind that my boat will take me to view other gardens and then it doesn’t seem like such a bad trade off!

  4. Wow! I would love to be cutting roses in February. I look at all the photos of the beautiful plants growing in places I want to sail to and realize I will see so many lovely gardens on our travels, both natural and man made. I can do another garden when I come back, and so can you! Thanks for posting. I remember seeing your blog and need to go catch up!

  5. Your hellebores are looking lovely. I think of you every time I look at one of my favorites that came from (through?) you, I think from Heidi. If you ever decide you have too many yellow ones, I need two more…..the darker colors need the lighter ones to show off at the end of my garden.

  6. They are getting bigger, thank goodness. If you are looking specifically for yellow I don’t have anything yet. But it you would like white or cream, I probably have plenty of babies of those.

  7. LOVE the Kingston Cardinal. Wish I had one of those in my yard. Will have to look for that in the garden shops this Spring. As a writer and poet and lover of words and word paintings I can tell you from my heart that this blog is A/PLUS-ULTRA as my Dad would have said it. It is so picture/painting I have read parts of it 4or5 times. How wondrous an experience after going thru withdrawal symptoms because I did something last Wed that fouled up my gmail system until Jason came by today and unfouled it. You and today’s entry have washed away my distress over my iPad abstinence . Thank you!

  8. Ahhh…little seedlings sound lovely, but I am weak and asked in error (lol). I’m still on a self-imposed plant-acquiring moratorium until I get caught up from the last two years (and particularly the stressful last year). Give the seedlings typical Melissa care (even if it’s tough love) for another year or two until I’m actually ready for them and have a plan and I will happily take a survivor or two off your hands-or, if a calm summer, maybe even in a few months, but not yet. 🙁 This spring, though, giving them to me might be closer to delayed-effect weeding. 🙁

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