Plants Do Not Stop

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    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 all take time. 

    All the same, time seems to be the thing that I am short on these days. I know, it’s 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 is still coming. This fact becomes more and more apparent with each passing day as the ice melts away and the 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 recent ice storm, there seemed to be a minor possibility that it would be impossible to be ready for spring. I was prepared to bunker down and wait out another week, month, or maybe a year. But my father, J-Dogg, was sure that spring was still arriving on time. 

    I found myself doubting his wisdom, however, while trudging through the snow and ice to check on the garden situation. Outside, there seemed to be an overwhelming feeling of silence and chaos. Plants that normally stood proud and tall 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 of ice between 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? Surely, I thought, the world was going to remain frozen. I could not see spring. 

    My inexperience got the better of me, and like my father predicted, Garden Rebels reached out asking how to save their beloved plants as the ice melted. Yet my father always has an answer. And to my surprise, that answer is usually “let them be.” 

    Then 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 we could manage. 

    Some projects will take days to finish, others, weeks or even 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 world froze, and time seemed to stop, under the ground there was much work being done. Indeed, 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 yet feel ready for spring. But if you are overwhelmed with winter, I encourage you to look for the hope of spring and 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 that reads: ‘Caution: plants do not stop.’ You see, readers and garden rebels, it was only a matter of time before I answered my own questions. Yes, if you are looking, you can begin to see spring, and yes, we will be ready.