April Flowers

Is April the new May now? That’s exactly what it looks and feels like doesn’t it? The season is moving at a pace I’m finding hard to manage – there’s too much to do all at once. What typically starts slowly with the sweet sightings of snowdrops and winter aconites shyly blooming and gradually picks up momentum as the days lengthen and the earth is coaxed awake has been replaced this year with the garden exploding into bloom like a runaway train. Mind you, I’m enjoying seeing what is in bloom every day but it is all too much too soon. Whatever will May look like?

And it has been very dry. No April showers thus far. Add the unseasonably high temperatures and here we are – under threat of brush fires. In my county, there have already been some minor fires in woods and preserves. Frankly, I’m nervous. At this rate, we could be facing moratoriums on watering which will of course lead to loss and damage to our gardens and fields. The potential for greater consequences cannot be overlooked.

I’m allowing myself the luxury of enjoying the flowers in bloom. The daffodils are having a divine moment – so joyous and celebratory. I cannot imagine anybody not smiling upon seeing them trumpeting in sunny hues. I do believe that daffodils are the sunflowers of Spring.

The early magnolias all over the area are spectacular this year. As were the cherry blossoms. It’s hard to complain in the presence of such beauty.

The temperature today hit 80 degrees. Predicted to go up to 84 tomorrow. And the day after. Yikes! That could mean the flowers won’t remain in bloom for too long. Makes me feel cheated. After all the back-breaking work of bulb planting in the fall and dreaming of the spring all through winter, it simply is wrong if one is not awarded the right amount of time to bask in the glory of bulb season.

The pear trees have started flowering and the later bulbs are rapidly emerging and growing. I’m hoping the bees and butterflies show up soon. No pollination, no fruit. I should probably put up the hummingbird feeders soon. Tender perennials like the bays, figs, agapanthus, brugamansia and such have been brought out from their winter dwellings a few weeks ahead of schedule.

Spring is my favorite season and I revel in the chores. Except this year, I’m feeling rather overwhelmed by how much needs to be done quickly. Everything everywhere all at once!

Peony supports are already up. Vegetable bed planted up with cool weather greens. Annual herbs potted up and set out. The watering system of the vertical garden is in full operation. By weeks end, the greenhouse will be completely emptied of the citruses and other tropical treasures. After a proper cleaning, said greenhouse will be housing dahlias in pots. The tubers in storage have survived all right and shall be reawakened in pots of fresh soil.

Despite my trepidation about climate change, I’m resolved to be present in the moment. This season of renewal comes by just once each year and I cannot waste it. Each day I’m making time to simply appreciate the flowers, the new growth, the birds and to certainly, take advantage of the warm weather to get things done.

The optimist in me is willing the weather Gods to ease up and bring back more seasonal temperatures and some life affirming rain. I couldn’t call myself a gardener by any measure if I didn’t think wishfully. It’s mandatory – says so in the Gardeners Handbook.

Note: Remember my Open Fay is May 20 – get your tickets and come visit

(c) 2023 Shobha Vanchiswar

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