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The Presidents Corner — Spring has Sprung!


A time for re-birth, the first day of spring signals the promise of the end of winter. Week by week, little flowers poke their colorful heads up to welcome the sun – crocus, snowbells and hellebore, oh my! We all look forward to seeing the bright, happy bunches of narcissus and daffodils that follow. Undaunted, even in snow, their sturdy stems standing strong, holding up the cups of sunshine yellow.

Spring brings with it optimism, waking us from slumber to reignite our passions. For some that may mean a thorough spring cleaning of the house, tackling overstuffed closets, garages, and attics. For others, it might be gardening! Avid gardeners have been preparing for this moment for months already, poring over seed catalogs, placing orders, re-evaluating garden layouts and beds. Some may have already started tomato and pepper seeds indoors, planted onions and garlic and have lettuce and kale growing. They have prepared their soil by adding amendments and checked irrigation systems, for the growing season to come.

I always find this time of year a tug-o-war struggle between staying inside and getting household (and computer) things taken care of, and being pulled to the outdoors, if just to sit with my face to the sun listening to the birdsong. I’m also a sucker for browsing the nurseries and garden centers this time of year, seeing what’s new in garden décor and the variety of plants that come in.  Sadly, I have been influenced by a pretty face during these reconnaissance visits, with plants that just seem to appear in my basket by magic! Surely I had a plan for where to put them in the back of my mind, right?

An organized person would have a set plan and schedule, committed to spending time daily or weekly (depending on the size of the garden), getting it ready, and checking off jobs.  I find it’s hard to plan an outdoor schedule since the weather in our area can change from day to day or even hour to hour. After all it is Oregon, and I must admit, I am a fair-weather gardener! Little by little, the things that need to be done eventually get done, and the things that don’t are put on the back burner for another day, or month or season. I don’t chastise myself for not finishing everything on my list – I want to take the time to watch the plants grow and smell the flowers! True, no one knows what the future holds, and we should live each day to its fullest, but that also means relaxing and going with the flow. We could all take a lesson from our gardens; every season brings about change, things grow, fade and die, and after the dark of winter, if they survive, they  emerge triumphant, ready to face life’s challenges all over again. Plants, like us, can encounter disease, pestilence or other conditions that makes them sick and weak. They either make a recovery, or they don’t. The point is they don’t know their future, they just keep on going, from the moment that little seed or bulb gets warmed up and sprouts until its last flower is spent, they don’t give up, for there is always hope for one more spring with all it brings!

However you do spring, busy with indoor or outdoor garden projects, make it enjoyable. Spread out the workload to minimize dreaded tasks. Pace yourself and be sure to stop and enjoy the beauty of life and nature around you.

Happy spring!