CAUTION: Plants Do Not Stop
The dreaded cursor stares at me once again, almost threateningly as I know this article has to be done. Dear fellow gardeners and readers alike, I have to be honest, these articles are hard to write. Harder than any gardening project I have taken on, even as a gardener in training. I have a newfound appreciation for what my father does; unfortunately, this will not write the article for me. The hardest part, in my opinion, is figuring out what exactly to talk about. What might interest someone enough to take time out of their day to read an article? If there is one thing for sure, reading, writing, and gardening alike take time.
Time seems to be the thing that I am short on these days. I know, hard to believe. With everything going on it seems the only constant thing is time. The sun rises and sets, and there are 24 hours each day. Yet I find myself scrambling to get going. Much like the mythical white rabbit, I am very late for an important date! In case you did not know, SPRING IS COMING.
This past winter storm has my internal clock struggling, how can spring be just around the corner when it seems yesterday we were covered in a solid sheet of ice. Yet, out in the greenhouses, even outside under all of that ice, spring was still coming. This fact becomes more and more apparent with each passing day as the ice melts away and the impending inevitably of spring comes to meet us. The question arises, can we see spring coming, will we be ready?
In the face of the destruction from the ice storm, there was a minor possibility that it would be impossible to be ready for spring. While I was prepared to bunker down and wait out another week, month, maybe a year, my father, J-Dogg was sure that spring was still arriving on time. I found myself doubting his wisdom while trudging through the snow and ice outside to check on the garden situation. Outside there seemed to be at first an overwhelming feeling of silence and chaos. Plants that normally stood proud and tall had leaned over under the overwhelming weight of the ice. Branches that belonged in large trees took over the pathways and roads. While I knew there was maybe a mere inch below me and the solid ground, I walked around as if I were on a frozen pond, threatening to break through the ice at any minute. How could spring possibly be approaching still? Surely, I thought, the world was going to remain frozen, I could not see spring.
My inexperience got the better of me as Garden Rebels reached out asking how to save their beloved plants as the ice melted (like my father predicted). Yet my father always had an answer, and to my surprise, most often that answer was “let them be”. The snow melted, and many blooms remained. Bulbs continue to sprout. Sure, trees and branches needed to be cleaned up, and in some places, the landscape changed drastically as plants did not recover, but that was work that we could manage. Some projects will take days, others weeks, a few months. Trees can be cut, shrubs can be replaced, and soon things will return to a daily bustle. We could not stop the ice, but we can look ahead. Spring continues to come. While our whole worlds froze, and time seemed to stop, under the ground there was much work being done. There was not much we could do to stop it.
While I grasp at the straws of time, preparing for a spring that has yet to come I understand if you do not feel ready for spring yet. If you are overwhelmed with winter, I encourage you to look for the hope of spring. If you are anxiously waiting for spring, start preparing now, color is here, blooms can be found. If you are not sure what season it is, look at the plants, they will tell you. I am now a firm believer there should be a warning on gardening, caution: plants do not stop. So, readers and garden rebels, it was only a matter of time before I answered my questions. Yes, if you are looking, you can begin to see spring, and yes, we will be ready.
Garden Rebel in Training (still)