I know that spring hasn’t quite sprung, as there is still snow on the ground, and the temperatures remain below freezing, but is spring at least springing? Please say that it is. It seems that each year, about this time, I decide that I am done with winter. I am done throwing on ten layers to step outside for a few minutes, and I am done shoveling piles of snow. I long to get back into the garden, to get my hands back into the soil, and to see new life popping out of the ground where I sowed a seed. Yup, I am wholeheartedly ready for spring.
The subtle signs seem to be there: a small bud on a lilac, the call of the red-winged blackbird, the sighting of a robin. Then, finally, we get teased by a day where the sun shines brightly, and the temperatures climb above freezing. I notice patches of grass peeking out from underneath the snow, triumphant in their quest to free themselves from the melting ice. Rather than being frozen solid, the ground starts to give a little as I walk to the garden. Mud replaces snow across the landscape, and I know that we are getting close. Spring seems to be springing.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the winter season-the beauty of the falling snow, snuggling under a blanket on the couch with a seed catalog, and watching the world transform into a winter wonderland overnight. I became renewed and rested while the plants outside enjoyed their winter slumber. I reveled in the opportunities to create garden plans, seed sowing schedules, and plant orders. I caught up on reading the stack of garden books that I had accumulated over the summer months, and I was allowed the time to dream of all the possibilities this next growing season will bring. Yes, winter provided me the time to accomplish all of these things, and for that, I am grateful.
But, with each passing winter day, I grow more impatient. I have indeed ordered more seeds than I care to admit, and now I am ready to work towards making all of those garden dreams a reality. I’m poised to execute my meticulously thought-out garden plans and sow those first seeds, armed with the newly acquired knowledge from reading all of those books. But, most of all, I am excited to see what the next growing season will bring. I need to be among my plants again, a place where I am happy and at peace. So, if spring could start springing, that would be great.
In anticipation of the changing of the seasons and the start of the growing season, I have gathered my seed starting supplies. The trays, pots, grow lights, heat mats, and potting mix are ready, waiting to get started. We, gardeners, watch our calendars, eagerly awaiting the day that we can start sowing seeds once more. Sometimes we are overly eager and sow seeds too soon, sentencing our seedlings to a life of struggle and an early demise. But often, even though we know better, we do it anyway because we can’t stand to wait any longer. I recently pre-sprouted my ranunculus and anemone corms and started my sweet pea seeds. Hurrah for these hardy plants that can tide me over until the tender annual seed sowing begins! It does my soul good to see green shoots again, popping out of the soil, eager to grow, even if it is indoors under grow lights.
Still, it is a temporary fix, and my longing to get outdoors in the garden grows stronger with each passing single-digit temperature day. So please, spring, if you are listening, could you start springing? Because I need to get back to the garden for the good of my sanity and my soul.