Spring Fever

It’s been looking like spring, finally, around here. (Ironically, this morning, it looks like winter – we had a dusting of fresh snow last night, but I’ve decided it WILL melt. Soon.) It’s been a very dark winter and has felt particularly long to me. There’s also been a lot going on in our lives that has been stressful, so spring is very welcome this year.

The snowdrops are up in the garden and I can see the tips of the hyacinth leaves. The hellebores are sending up flower heads – they’re dark purple when they first come up. They had hellebores on sale at the nursery this past weekend and I bought two new beauties, only to get home and realize that the ground where I want to put them is still frozen. They’ll living on the porch for the moment and don’t seem to mind. The lilacs and the magnolia are in bud, too, and the birds are very chatty.

The poppies have appeared, just small leaves now but enough to relieve me that they’re coming back. We have a zone of self-seeding annual poppies that have bright orange flowers. They don’t look real, actually, but more like those crepe paper poppies people used to make. Each year, they come up, bloom, and die. Each year, I break up the mature seed heads and cast seeds all over the bed. The bed is usually as dry as dust by this point – that’s what they like about it – but each year, I worry that there won’t be any poppies the next year. This is, of course, ridiculous. There are thousands of them out there, and they expand their territory each year. They’re back again, even growing in the paths, so this is very exciting to me.

Because it’s been such a long dark winter, writing has been difficult. All creative endeavors have been difficult. So, spring this year really does offer a burst of energy and opportunity, and I’ve been making the most of it. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron talks about tempting your inner artist with visual and sensory treats. This is a technique which I find very effective. For me, colour is inspiring, so I’ve taken the opportunity to fill the house with colour. There is a bouquet of pink tulips and pink lilies on the kitchen table (they smell heavenly!) and those pink hellebores are sitting patiently on the porch. While at the nursery, I also bought some pansies and primroses. It’s still a bit chilly for them outside, so they’re sitting on a tray on the counter, blooming away. The pansies are all shades of purple and white, while the primroses are yellow, deep blue or cherry red. Mr. Math brought the planter back to the patio and I planted it with some of the pansies and primroses, as well as two orange ranunculus. It’s had to be covered each night, but by the weekend, I’m hoping it will be fine. I’m also knitting a very bright vest. It’s in bulky yarn, so I might be able to show it to you by the end of this week. Next winter, it’ll be my burst of colour and warmth. And because of all of these things, the writing is now flowing along beautifully. I’ll talk more about that tomorrow.

For now, here’s a self-seeding annual poppy to celebrate spring.