Finally! With just a few warm days, crocus blooms are popping open in a rush to greet the returning sun. Green spears of wild woodlings pepper thawed ground, a few tiny violet leaves are just beginning to unfold and hellebore buds are blushing deep pink under leaves that have gotten scraggily from the unaccustomed harsh winter. There is a feeling of delicious anticipation in the woods gardens as I venture out to soak up some sun and explore what’s coming up, hoping there have not been too many losses.
Hundreds of surprise lilies have been transplanted everywhere from a small group that were growing in a fence corner, hidden under a wild tangle of autumn clematis. A wisteria once clamored to the top of a long-dead oak; we thought it was gone along with its host, but it shot up from the roots and scrambled up and over our stone wall. It took almost 15 years to bloom again.
A vegetable garden and an orchard grew where the woods are today. The last of the old apple trees fell in a storm three years after we moved here, but its legacy lived on; for years morel mushrooms grew from the decaying roots.
"Gardening is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow."--Author unknown
Sandy Parrill "Speaking of Gardens" The Joplin Globe, February 23, 2014