Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Spring Came Softly

I don't know why, but I used to really dislike spring. Rainy, muddy, chilly and my allergies would usually attack. I love being outside, and it always seemed to be bad outside in spring. I felt lethargic, and dreaded all the spring activities--school winding up, graduations, Mother's Day and various parties because of those things. I really am an introvert. I would have to come up with cards and presents and I just never felt comfortable attending so many social things. I would rather stay home and dig in the dirt.

Then, my mother died on April 12th several years ago. That really didn't help my attitude about spring. Since she planted blue petunias every year in her front flower box in front of the picture window, I had always done that, too. It felt like home with those petunias.

This year is different and my attitude change snuck up on me today. I still am sneezing and headachy sometimes as things bloom. But we've had a very cool spring. I dislike high heat, so it's been pleasant outside. Yes, it's been rainy, but nice rains. I bought a really good raincoat with a lining. Wildflowers are blooming like I've never seen them. I live next to a river in a woods with a creek. It's been fun to hike in the woods, see all the wildflowers this spring. I'm enjoying this spring.

Today I went and bought some new perennials for my front beds. Ever since we moved here, I've resented this place. At my old house I had spent many hours planting beautiful perennial and vegetable gardens. I had tons of fruit trees and gorgeous forsythia, a magnolia tree,English Ivy vines, osage orange, roses, wild roses and tulips. I cried when we left. I dug up my clematis to take with me, a huge thing, and it died here.

When I moved here, everything I planted died. Not enough sun. In fact, lack of sun is also a problem for me. Our house is rather dark, too, because of all the trees.

This year I went looking specifically for shade or partial shade plants. My hostas are gigantic that I planted in past years, so I thought, why fight this? I love petunias, gerbena daisies, geraniums,roses, lilacs,and daylilies, but they just die from lack of sun.

But my lamb's ears are profuse this year! My lilies of the valley are going wild underneath the Colorado blue spruce and mugo pine. My spice bush never smelled so perfumey as this year. (All of these things I added.) And there is lemon balm coming up, even though I tore it all out! Wildflowers from the woods snuck onto my lawn. Spring beauties dared me to stop them. Who could?

Because of my attitude change, I am looking at things in a whole new way. As I sat on my front porch, my back ached from the digging. I tried to relax and just looked. I looked out and for the first time that I can remember since moving here, I saw beauty. Maybe it's because I have changed my eating habits, am being faithful to riding my bike and hiking outside, that my whole attitude has changed about this house, this place.

Change one thing, and look what happens. Even a black kitty, torn up and shy, is trying to make friends with me (and yeah, I'm feeding it.) Cats at my old house were everywhere, and I had an indoor cat there--but she died before I could even get her here.

What do you need to change in your life? Be careful, because when you change it--one thing--those other things might sneak up on you and your life will be different. Different can be beautiful, too.


Melinda S said...

I can so relate to this post! Finally, after living in this house for 11 years, I like living here. I LOVED my previous house & hated to leave it. This spring we've started renovating & when we were done with that I'll get to landscape. I'm excited about the possibilities.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Crystal -

My front yard is shaded by a huge oak tree. Impatiens work well in the shade. One year, I planted the New Guinea variety - fabulous.


Crystal Laine said...

Melinda, we have lived here about 10 years and isn't amazing how it takes so long for some places to feel like home? Thank you for commenting. It made me feel better!

Susan, I will try the impatiens for splashes of color! I had forgotten about them because before I could always use plants for sun and wasn't that wild about them. Thank you! (And I'll look for those New Guinea ones.)

Oh, and the rabbits dug up half my plants last night. Sigh. Now, for the first time, I have to battle rabbits! (It is pretty wild around here. ha)

Pam Halter said...

Wow, Crystal, God is shouting at me today about changing my thoughts and prayers. He's speaking through all the blogs I've been reading today. I'm finally listening.

Try scattering mothballs around your plants. That will keep the rabbits and squirrels away.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Crystal -

A trip to the garden center reminded me of another flower you could use: begonias.


LeAnne Benfield Martin said...

I love this post, Crystal--all of it, even the title. Wish I could see the old yard and the "new" one. Good for you.