Like a Child at Christmas

Emerging spring iris among a rusty old tool

It’s spring. The morning chores can’t be completed fast enough. Excitement courses through my body as I recall it did just before Christmas as a child. The difference is the gifts awaiting for this gardener include watching plants come alive after a long winter’s nap, and watching early colorful bulbs decorate the yard as would ribbons and bows found on presents under a tree.

And whoa onto the late bloomers not showing green right away. Today’s guessing game of rattling a package like an eager child takes form by scratching a bit of brown bark in search of the green cambium layer underneath. Worse yet – the other day I found myself carefully digging below the soil line of one such bare plant. Delight filled me as tiny sprouts appeared under the soil waiting for these cool nights to warm up a bit more before making an appearance. My behavior surprised me for never would I consider unwrapping a gift as a child, yet the temptation was too strong not to check for this plant’s survival during this past arduous winter.

With that shared, it is clear that gardeners are a special kind of breed. We relish in the ability to share our knowledge, excess seedlings, collections of seeds and offer to help with our time in other gardens as needed. Trips together can be spent traipsing to every nursery or garden show miles from home – always in search for the unusual, the newest or whimsical. Plant and seed catalogs fill our mailboxes and let’s not talk about daily emails coming in from a landscape blogger, or containing some ideas for landscaping, design, or pest control, and the list goes on…

The need for sharing never stops. This week, there was a surprise waiting at the post office from a dear friend and former co worker. The gift was a book written by someone owning a tree company where we purchased our nursery trees and where my friend previously worked. The subject was about crazy tales from local nurseries. Believe me, working in the nursery can easily fill many a book!

Speaking of friends, when non-gardening friends speak of their obsession for shoes, my mind thinks of old worn boots filled with soil and planted with summer color for an accent. Old farming implements, rusty tools find homes in a garden as well. In my garden, the old pot belly stove from our nursery days kept us warm as we pruned the bare root trees in winter. Its new home is not quite as functional but causes one to stop and wonder. All these bits of rusted memorabilia manage to give way to enhancing a bit of folly in the garden.

Gardeners don’t mind a tired body as the result of digging, weeding, pruning or mulching. Nor does ragged fingernails or soil covered clothes enter our thought process while we embrace being outside. There is always a shower, nail file and hand lotion that awaits at the end of the day, And, as with that child after Christmas, sleep comes easy for a hard day of playing in the garden and it is pretty flowers, delicious home grown fruits and veggies that dance in our heads.

Yes, spring to a gardener is as Christmas is to a child.

Have a great weekend.

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