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A Waiting Game

emerging Daffodils

As every gardener knows, what we don’t see at this time of year is the potential. The potential of the un-leafed buds on the trees. The potential of the bulbs we planted just four short months ago. Each bulb containing the root, the stem, the flower and its nourishment; in one tidy package. Just add 6 weeks of frost and in spring it comes alive.

We can plant a tiny wisp of a sprig, firmly shore up the soil around it stand up, hands on hips and feel complete satisfaction because we know the outcome. Although it doesn’t seem like much now, with the care we will provide it will be a stout profuse bloomer in the days to come.


Every plant has its own promise. A promise of vitality, given the right conditions. A promise of bloom time, of color, height and spread. Still those expected flowers always catch our breath and we stop to admire them with wonder. Some plants offer a promise of light shade or food for local wildlife, foil for that nosy neighbor.

We know that a small seed has the capacity to expand to a proud tree. We know its lignin cells, cells you need a microscope to see, hold in their cell walls the strength of bark and wood.

Don’t forget we have to share in the promise as well. Watering, feeding and pruning the promise so that our expectations can be certain, not just a happy accident.

Every garden holds its own pledge as well. We have put to bed many a garden last November and we know what’s happily waiting under the soil. So many goodies waiting for enough growing degree days to emerge, clamoring for the sun to dutifully fill its place with beauty and texture.


The makings of a wonderful spring are always eagerly anticipated. Sure it’s a time fraught with hectic demands and long hours. But the promise each plant and each garden offers always makes it all worthwhile.

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