Venturing Out of Winter Hibernation

spring-cleanup

Can you tell what I did yesterday? The weather turned positively balmy here in Pennsylvania and it got up to 70 degrees. That was finally warm enough to get me out of hibernation mode and into the great outdoors for longer than a mad dash from house to car and vice versa.

front-flowerbed-trimmed

I have two big ornamental grass bushes in my front flower bed plus several smaller ornamental grasses and I usually don’t trim them down until Spring. I figured that this was the day to do it. Plus I have a big lavender plant at the corner of the garage and another that semi-surrounds the mailbox and it was time to trim off the old woody portions of those, as well. The biggest challenge proved to be manhandling the snowblower out of the garage so that I could access my garden wheelbarrow and other tools.

butterfly-bushes-pretrim

The next thing to be tackled was my side flower bed. It still had the browned remains of my butterfly bushes from last year. I didn’t get them cut back in the fall so I wanted to be sure to trim them back before the new growth started appearing this spring. These bushes have such a special place in my heart. The biggest one was planted some years ago from a small cutting given to me by a friend from church. He grows butterfly bushes and he had given this to me to plant in memory of one of his daughters who had died uexpectedly. Every time I see that bush, which has thrived every year, I think of her and how her memory lives on through the many cuttings he gave to friends and family. The other butterfly bushes were a special strain that my same friend developed in honor of sons and daughters from our church who have answered the call to Christian missionary service. He named them “PepLePort” bushes, combining parts of the names of all those so honored. My son is one of those. When I received these bushes, it was late November 2007. I didn’t have much hope that these little seedlings would survive but I decided to plant them anyway. Lo and behold, they all came up the following spring and what a joy they’ve been to me. Even with my son so many miles away, as I nurture those plants, I feel like I am nurturing my son, too.

butterfly-bushes-trimmed

The side bed looks much better now and all set for the warmer sunny days to work their magic. If I was given to flights of fancy (who, me?), I’d almost say I could hear those bushes giving a sigh of relief to have their new spring clips. Now they can certainly feel that they can hold their own against the neighbor’s flashy forsythia bushes. Sure, his bushes will give us those first welcome signs of color but my PepLePorts will reward us all summer long with fragrant sprigs of purple swaying in the warm breezes while butterflies flit from stalk to stalk.

daffodils-coming-up

Best of all, look what I found after I cleaned up that flower bed. I’ve got spring flowers coming up! I’m not sure if these are my daffodils (I think they are) or the tulips. Really, that’s not what’s important. The important thing is that something green is appearing. And it isn’t just confined to this one spot. I found flowers popping up all along the side flower bed AND crocuses and hyacinth starting to show their leaves in my front flower bed. I tell you, I feel like a new woman. It’s almost enough to make me consider taking the flannel sheets off the bed. Almost, but not quite. I have a hunch I’ll be needing my gloves and scarves for awhile yet. In the meantime, I’m loving every minute of this warmer weather. What about you?

  • What lovely thoughts and memories your garden contains. I look forward to watching it bloom!

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