Spring Sprang Sprung

The tulip magnolias are taking center stage around Charlottesville these days…They are almost cartoonish in their preposterous ebullience. In the blink of an eye they will be gone and it will be a whole year before we once again witness their improbable splendor.

IMG_8361IMG_8363IMG_8366At our new house, we are closely watching the flowers, trees, and shrubs come to life. There have been happy discoveries like this quince:


I can’t wait to see it in full bloom. And this redbud will be a sight to behold in a week or two:


There have been bitter disappointments…


I don’t love yellow flowers and I really hate forsythia. I wasn’t sure what this thicket of shrubs was going to turn out to be until those tell-tale egg-yolk yellow blooms started coming out. At work today I somehow convinced myself that there were only three or four manageable shrubs that I could easily chop down and uproot. In my foolish optimism, I actually debated whether to use a pair of scissors (HA!) or a small pair of clippers to get rid of them. Obviously, it’s going to take a lot more than either of those to tackle this mess. I’m pretty sure there’s no way this is going to end well.

On a more positive note, I planted some of my favorite flowers this evening. A peony, Brunnera macrophylla, some Virginia bluebells, a Philadelphus, and minuscule, practically microscopic lilacs:

Whenever I plant lifeless sticks, corms, roots, and seeds in the mud, I remember that gardening is an act of faith and hope for the future. It’s participating in a miraculous rite of resurrection.

Yesterday, my daughter and I planted the packet of seeds we got at my friend’s Celebration of Life. I’m not sure what the flowers are, but I know that when they bloom they will remind us that life goes on and that we can plant beauty with our hands and our hearts.



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