Along the Garden Path: Goodbye winter – hello spring


Mother Nature is starting to show herself with sprouts of spring blooming bulbs and perennials popping their heads through the ground.

Bright green shoots of snowdrops are emerging from the dormant earth offering a glimpse of hope that warmer days are just around the corner.

Soon crocus, daffodils, tulips, hyacinth and other spring flowering bulbs will be showing their colors. These bulbs are here for such a short time and you never get tired of them.

Hellebores are filling in the flower beds bridging the seasonal gap until the hosta and daylilies emerge. The Heuchera’s are appearing with their brilliant foliage. When pruning bushes last week, the Arum was showing its arrow leaf with bright green foliage. When the bulbs are done blooming, it’s important to leave the foliage in place because it replenishes the food source for the following year’s bloom.

The delicate flowers of the Redbud tree will emerge before its beautiful foliage. In the woods, the wildflowers of Trilliums, Violets, Solomon Seal, Bellwort, Anemones, Trout Lilies, and Dutchman’s breeches will bring on their spring beauty.

When we have a thunderstorm with a bolt of lightning, it is said that the electrical energy breaks the strong nitrogen bonds. The blades of grass absorbs nitrate and is used to create more chlorophyll making the grass green. The nitrogen then quickly attaches to oxygen, forming nitrogen dioxide. Soon it is time to get out the lawn mowers and welcome the smell of freshly mowed grass.

We reflect back to our childhood when the sheep would have their lambs in late winter or early spring and they needed lots of green so they could make milk for their lambs. We would bring the ewe, or mother sheep, into the barn to give birth. There was usually a single lamb but sometimes there would be two, rarely more. Baby lambs are looking for food from their mother when they are only a half hour old and they could quickly stand on their own. Sometimes we would have to bottle feed the lambs. When they got a little older the lambs would go out into the fields with their momma. They don’t get lost as the mother recognizes her own lamb’s smell and bleating cry.

Springtime is a wonderful time so get out and enjoy it!

By Charlene Thornhill

Along the Garden Path

Charlene Thornhill is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her community column Along the Garden Path. She can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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