Monday, February 07, 2005

Early Spring

Each gardener points to one thing that really begins the gardening season for them; for me it's always the first snowdrops blooming; the little leaves rising rapidly out of the partially frozen ground at the first hint of warming sun, and within a few days opening their pristine white blooms. These first flowers always coincide with the tufted titmouse beginning his clear, sweet, "Peter, Peter" call from the top of the oak tree, singing so enthusiastically that I always marvel that he doesn't fall from his perch.If you take a seat cushion out into the garden so that you can kneel down on the partially frozen path, and get your nose right down to the elfin snowdrop blooms, they have a sweet scent whose memory lingers with you throughout the coming year.Many far more spectacular flowers follow in the coming months, but nothing ever really tops the joy and wonder of kneeling on the cold, wet ground and admiring these tiny jewels. Thus the gardening year begins, and this gardening blog, which is a visual and narrative documentation of what it's like to garden in a woods in eastern Iowa, started mainly because I have a new digital camera just waiting for the first flowers to show, but also because there is a puzzling dearth of true gardening blogs in Iowa; the few I've run across seem to show a few shots of the peonies by the driveway, then quickly cut to the host's real interest: showing snapshots of the grandkids and the pet rabbit dressed up unaccountably in an Uncle Sam suit. The content of this blog will be mainly visual; I am not a garden expert, and therefore any facts or advice I ever throw in should be taken for what they are: the observations of an amateur gardener in his woods.

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