Outside is where I want to be this time of year. Especially after a long winter and sometimes damp spring when we are indoors for what seems like forever. My outdoor hobbies keep me busy and I am very happy to putt or paddle in the fresh air. One of my hobbies is gardening, which to me is better than Christmas. 

Every day a gardener wakes full of Christmas-Eve anticipation to see what gifts mother nature has provided overnight because even as we sleep, our gardens continue to grow. We can hardly wait to walk the back forty, or in my case three quarters of an acre, to check on what is happening. 

First there is the spring cleanup because I personally like to let everything decay and continue to feed the soil for as long as possible. I uncover the debris to see what lies beneath. Then the waiting for shoots to poke through the ground. The excitement of seeing beautiful shades of greens and reddish browns as they push their way upwards.

Before long, the early plants begin to take shape and form buds and then blossoms.

One of the first plants to do this in my yard is my rhubarb, which some people eat. I personally think it tastes like turpentine, unless you add twenty pounds of sugar when cooking it; and even then it still has a bitter undertone. To be fair, others rave about it. I have yet to figure out why. You can make a garden pesticide out of rhubarb leaves. Not an attribute I consider for my diet. Rhubarb, to me, is a stunning and dramatic garden plant that has beautiful blooms that stand five feet high. Most people don’t let it bloom though. Too bad because it is certainly a show stopper.

Next come the spring flowers in pinks and yellows like leopard bane, globe flowers and bleeding hearts. These bleeding hearts are still in bloom six weeks later.

Then the rhododendrons and azaleas begin to bloom and put on a spectacular show for a short period of time during which we gardeners hope for less rain and winds to prolong their beauty.

Irises, geum, columbine and cushion spurge are all early bloomers that announce their presence with their beautiful colours.

The crane’s bill hardy geraniums always make a showy appearance because I have planted them in large masses to help stabilize my slopes. They appear, in two different shades of pink, all down my hill for at least three weeks. This same hill will be full of summer reds, oranges and yellows in another week.

Spring shrubs start to bloom, In my north facing yard, spring sometimes means early summer. Either way, I look forward to them each putting on their annual show.

Then additional trees and shrubs wake with their colours. I am always so happy to see that they have survived the winter.

More and more perennials come into flower. The Sweet Williams I started from seed about twenty years ago that now self seed and return every year. The early lilies, the grocery-store roses that I purchased for mother’s day in 2021. Every day there is something new to see.

Poppies, peonies and penstemon.

Sea holly and astilbes.

And so much more. 

We are only in mid July. There are a couple more months before gardening season is over. I never want to wish the summer away to see all the daily gifts I receive. Part of the enjoyment comes from the Christmas Eve anticipation that lasts all season long.

A shoutout to River Girl who’s many What’s Blooming posts inspired this.

Thank you for reading.

Photos:  Jenn Stone

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26 thoughts on “Anticipation

  1. You certainly have a gorgeous garden! Mine is overcrowded and just too much work as I can’t really fit it in around my work and my hillwalking (and my hillwalking definitely comes first!).

    In addition to that, I’ve just done 3 stints of gardening over the last couple of weeks and ended up with 3 separate injuries or incidents. The first two were trimming my ‘bird hedge’ – the one where my colony of sparrows live. First I got massively infested with bird mites to the tune of over 200 bites and they came into the house with me – luckily, I managed to kill them within two days with ‘Lyclear’ cream!

    Then I had to trim the back of my hedge – the bit the farmer should do – it’s actually his hedge anyway but he never trims it. That meant one of those super long hedge trimmers with a multi-angled head. The only trouble with those is that the weight is at the head-end and that is several feet away and very, very heavy. I ended up completely wrecking the hand which was doing the supporting of the far bit and ended up in A&E (hospital accident and emergency). It turned out that, despite the huge amount of swelling (which even the doctor was amazed at!) nothing was broken but it seems like a tendon has rerouted itself in my hand and it’s still pretty awkward and painful two weeks later.

    Then thirdly, I’d been pulling out some tough weeds and seem to have upset my pectorals and some muscles in my shoulder so, each time I breathe in deeply it hurts like hell! Coughing and sneezing are completely out of the question. That was a couple of weeks ago too and I’m still struggling.

    So I now feel like a little old lady!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your yard is absolutely stunning. You’ve obviously put in a tremendous amount of effort over the years, and I bow down to your prowess. I’d love to have just a smidge of that beauty down here but, well, it’s Texas. The relentless heat kills off everything but the heartiest of plants. (It’s barely mid-July and half of the grass is already dead, never mind the feeble attempts at tossing in a few bloomers here and there. Oh, and it’s also 104F at the moment, with a heat index of 110F. Sheesh.)

    But at least I have your lovely photos to gaze upon, and that will have to do… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. When I lived in the Toronto area The summer heat and humidity kept me indoors. Not as hot as Texas mind you but too hot for me. When I moved back to my Nova Scotia home, the cooler, beautiful summers enticed me back outside. The climate is wonderful for gardening so I have now been putting around my yard for over 20 years.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I love rhubarb! Wish I could get it to grow for me, I never realized it had such stunning flowers. Thank you for such an interesting post, my garden isn’t this impressive but it’s still my favourite place to be.

    Liked by 1 person

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