When you look at the year with a gardener's eye, where do you see the beginning?
Maybe winter, when you plan and dream for the season ahead?
Or are you like me, and view the beginning as the time those first green shoots and buds appear?
The beginning of this gardener's year was late. A look back at photos has confirmed my
suspicion that the garden blooms have been appearing a week or more later than they did in 2012.
It's been such a cool Spring that many of the seeds I started didn't germinate.
The Easter lilies were blooming on May 20, 2012.
Today they're just beginning to bud.
The hydrangeas and daylilies that are just now budding were also blooming at this time last year.
Some of last year's blooms haven't returned at all.
The columbine, gaillardia, and coreopsis are gone, though I'm not sure why.
The impatiens that normally self-seed were stricken last August by downy mildew.
But this is the way of the garden, isn't it? Always changing. Plants die while seeds sprout.
The cycle of life continues. While I mourn the loss of the columbine (that I started from seed),
I rejoice at the first bloom on the daisies (that I also started from seed).
The garden is full of color despite the missing columbine.
The dianthus has an abundance of blooms and nothing can stop evening primrose.
The bearded irises from my mother-in-law's garden have multiplied many times over
and put on a great show that has just now faded.
The Virginia spiderwort that I dug from my daughter's backyard continues to spread and
light up the garden with it's blue blooms.
The pale pink blooms of the old-fashioned climbing rose, grown from a cutting rooted by my daughter-in-law, are as beautiful as ever. (Read the story behind this rose here.)
These three plants - the irises, spiderwort, and climbing rose - give me special joy, with their faithfulness and connection to family.
Earlier in May, the scent of the Mock Orange greeted me at the steps
and the rhododendron blooms greeted me as I pulled into the driveway.
I look forward to the daylily, hydrangea, and Easter lily blooms, followed by lantana, zinnia, and marigolds - the bright colors of summer. I am thankful for the changing of the seasons and the gifts of each. And I am thankful, especially, for the reminder that "every end is a beginning."
"Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning, and under every deep a lower deep opens."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson