The Woods Are Lovely, Dark, and Deep

I have not been very much in the blogosphere this week. That's because I've been outside watching spring unfold and deepen all around us (not to mention tending to the additional tasks that come around for homeowners this time of year: gardening and yard work). I am a nature lover, to be sure. Some of my earliest memories are of walking in the woods behind the house where my brothers and I grew up, lying on the hill underneath the long, swaying branches of our neighbors' weeping willow tree, and being buried up to my neck in warm, wet, Lake Michigan sand, with the waves rolling nearby and the sun glinting off the water. I love to watch the world change as the seasons turn each year, and I even find beauty in the bleak, silver-grey days of November (admittedly, their March counterparts tend not to seem so beautiful).

And yet, each year I am amazed at how the riches of spring unfurl with such boldness and beauty; each year I am surprised again at how completely the natural world transforms itself within a matter of weeks. Such a sweet reward for persevering through our long, bleak winters.

So I have been outside marveling in all that change and beauty, and thought I would share a little bit of it here. My first generation, 8-year-old digital camera (not to mention my limited photography skills) will not do justice to the real thing, but here are a few things to feast your eyes on:


This is our front flower bed. Since this is our first year in this house, it has been fun to see what comes up. I am so glad to see that the roses I neglected last fall are looking healthy: deep, dark, glossy green leaves and lots of new growth. Featured in this photo are the magenta geraniums I bought for the planter on the front porch; however, a certain enthusiastic garden "assistant" (age 5) decided they would look best in the front garden. They are planted there along with the sweet-smelling alyssum and purple petunias I chose for the borders.

These yews are the backdrop for the flower beds outside my kitchen window. All winter I appreciated their color and the way they held the snow when it came, but I didn't think they were anything spectacular. Just now, the new growth lights up the end of each branch like a neon light. I am surprised by how beautiful they are.

These lilies of the valley are just beginning to bloom. They are tucked into a shady corner behind the garage, and fill the air with a sweet smell as we go out the back door. We had lilies of the valley at our old house, too, and it has been a comfort to see something familiar growing at our new place.

These new guinea impatiens are in the flower beds outside my kitchen window. I love the contrast of their bright flowers with the deep, dark, textured foliage. They are planted with some regular impatiens and coleus, and I am looking forward to watching them fill in over the summer.

Another bit of garden design by my assistant. Ahem.

For me, these old-fashioned lilacs are the crowning glory of spring. I thought the dense, leggy trees outside the kitchen window might be buckthorn, which grows its way into every nook and cranny around here. I had pretty much written them off, and stopped paying attention to them. Then, just last week, I noticed purple blooms beginning to form and I was delighted. Beyond delighted, actually. They are wide and tall and profuse; their fragrance is everwhere right now. I love them!


The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
But I have promises to keep...

We can thank Robert Frost for those beautiful words, written, actually, about a winter scene (read the whole poem here); but the words have been playing through my mind as I look out my back windows, and I am making a promise to myself to enjoy the beauty that is blooming all around.

1 comment:

May said...

very nice!!!