Sunday, 22 April 2007

Spring Fever


The Roman Goddess of Spring and Fertility was known as Flora, whereas the Saxons gave that honour to Oestre. Christians celebrate the festival of Easter as a time of rebirth and renewal. Historically, Spring has always started on the night of the vernal equinox of 20/21 March, though this year the Met Office claimed the first day of Spring was actually the first of March. It’s an interesting question. When does Spring officially start?


Regardless of the debate about the exact date, the time of fertility and renewal at Barleycorn, happens during the month of April when large drifts of golden daffodils, and their numerous hybrid cousins, bursting forth like so many trumpets joining together in unison, herald the arrival of Spring in all its splendour.

Even on rainy days, each flower seems to proffer a cup of golden sunshine in thanksgiving to the Goddess of Spring. Joining them in the dance are little posies of blue grape-hyacinths, upright scented purple and white honesty, acid-green euphorbia, sulphur-yellow primroses, colourful primula and the velvet-like blooms of polyanthus, while large swathes of pink, white and blue forget-me-nots jostle for space in tulip-filled beds, and meander along the curving paths, creating an air of informality.

Catkins of silver birches, like so many lambs’ tails, dance up and down in the spring breezes, and lush green leaves emerge gradually to clothe the slender branches with a shimmering new spring coat, while numerous little birds pay homage by singing their melodious bursts of song to establish their territories and attract a mate.


Along the margins of the ponds, the first plants offering a burst of sunshine are members of the buttercup family, the bright yellow marsh marigolds, attributed in Mediaeval times to the Virgin Mary as Mary Gold, with their shiny succulent leaves and flowers which open at the rising of the sun and close at its setting.


April is the month in which I was born, and each birthday, as I start a new year in my life, I am smitten by the infectious joys of Spring, which never fail to create a frisson of excitement in me, for, along with all the frenzy of daily change in the garden, with larks bursting into joyous rapture and the cries of baby lambs bleating from the adjacent field, I, too, am filled with a sense of hope and renewal, and an awareness of being part of the magical blessing of Spring, as my heart rejoices and I am reborn once again.

23 comments:

Sheila said...

This is a beautiful and meaningful post.
First of all Happy Birthday for whichever day in April it falls on..xx
A summer garden in full bloom is undeniably beautiful, but the first colours, scents and even sounds of Spring have always warmed my heart. The rebirth and renewal is something I anxiously await, and never take for granted.

A wildlife gardener said...

Thanks a lot, Sheila..it was on the third, and I agree that Spring has a special magic of its own. Thank you once again for your valued comments.

RUTH said...

Beautiful phots and wonderful information. I'm an April birthday girl too. Happy Birthday to you for yours.

A wildlife gardener said...

Thank you very much, Ruth, for your good wishes and generous comments.

Karen said...

Wonderful pictures! It's true this is an amazing time of year, and particularly the next few weeks when everything's growing so fast, and the greens are so fresh.
Belated happy birthday!

A wildlife gardener said...

Thank you very much, Karen. We have such a short growing season. I like to make the most of it. Thanks for visiting.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Spring, the best time of the year for me. It holds so many promises ....

Re your question about when it's spring: when nature tells us it is.:-) Sometimes it's in May (it was last year in the Netherlands) and sometimes it's in early March, like this year. Enjoy your Spring and the rebirth of life!

A wildlife gardener said...

Hi, Yolanda! Nothing like the promise of Spring...I love it whenever it comes.

Sally said...

That was the most beautiful description of spring I've ever read! And the photos are glorious. Happy Birthday W.G.

A wildlife gardener said...

Hi, Sally! Thank you very much for your comments, which I really appreciate.

Gardener Greg said...

Lovely photo's I love your plants and your kitties too.

Greg

A wildlife gardener said...

Thank you, Greg, for your visit and your kind words.

Thalia said...

Dear Wildlife gardener,

it's lovely to see your garden bloom in spring. That was a very informative post.

I have nominated your blog for the "Thinking Blogger" award. Please check my blog for details.

A wildlife gardener said...

What an honour, Thalia! Thank you very much indeed. I am off to make my daily visit to your blog, so I shall find out what the "Thinking Blogger" award is all about just shortly.

Naturegirl said...

A wonderful show that Spring has arrived in your part of the world! I am in Arizona and the desert is alive with blooms from cacti! Yes I am taking photos to share! Something about Spring that makes my heart sing!Oh I do hope my forget-me-nots are blooming by the time I arrive home! hugs NG

A wildlife gardener said...

Thank you for visiting again, NG, and for sharing your thoughts about Spring. I look forward to your desert photos of cacti blooms!

Libbys Blog said...

Such a lovely post! Life has been so hectic for me this week that I have hardly set foot outside in the garden so will make an effort to have a peep today!!!

Libbys Blog said...

PS may I add you as a link??

A wildlife gardener said...

Yes, Libby, and thank you for asking. I find that life gets hectic once the gardening season starts...

Thalia said...

Dear Wildlife Gardener,

The last time I stopped over I did not have time to leave a comment about the post, so here I go - the blooms look lovely and no matter how hard I try I cannot resist envying your garden. The flowers are simply marvellous and the garden with the splashes of those beautiful colours look so pristine!

A wildlife gardener said...

You are very gracious, Dear Thalia, with your compliments about my garden. Everything is in a rush now to grow to its full stature and produce seeds, so the garden is burgeoning, with major changes every week and a multitude of daily activity. Thank you for your valued comments.

Ex-Shammickite said...

THis post is quite delightful.... I love the colours and the total SPRINGINESS of it all! I just left a comment on your other blog. I am so envious of your lovely garden, Mine is just waking up after winter.

A wildlife gardener said...

Thank you for introducing yourself, ex-shammickite. Our garden is waking up and beginning to jump and bounce around now! Yours will happen soon, and you'll have so much to look forward to.