Waiting for Spring


Flowering Quince is an early bloomer that can be forced indoors.

This time of year in the garden, most everything is hushed, hunkered down, waiting for spring. The trees and shrubs patiently tolerate bird feeders, decorations, and dustings of snow, but if you listen closely, you can almost hear the snoring.

This is the time when a gardener has to practice trust – we’ve watch our tender perennials go through a process that looks exactly like death, and we’ve watched every leaf fall off the shrubs we excitedly planted in the fall, and on especially cold days even the best of gardens can look a little bleak.

And yet, underneath the ground, the roots are hanging in there, and perhaps even growing a little. And if you look really closely at those bald shrubs, you might find the beginnings of spring flower buds already starting to form.

During the late winter, I love to sneak around the garden and see if I can catch a glimpse of spring. During a walk the other day, I spotted the first peekings of daffodils, the first brave shoots of garlic, and swollen pink flower buds on flowering quince. I brought some of the quince indoors as a reminder that winter is indeed going to give way to spring. Literature often refers to spring as a “promise,” and now’s the time where we keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.

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