As a gardener, May is my favourite month as spring seems to explode with a vibrancy that I can’t help but be moved by. The trees now reveal their soft green foliage so that the structure of the branches is still visible against the blue sky. Refreshed by the welcome rain, they are a glorious backdrop to the brilliant colours of the tulips, camellias, rhododendrons, irises and primulas that I have planted throughout my garden and love so much.
‘April is the cruelest month’, wrote the poet T. S. Eliot, and never have I felt it more than this April when we had the unusual combination of both drought and constantly frosty nights - which certainly caused some damage. All is forgotten however in the excitement of seeing everything luxuriating in the heavy drenching that May has brought us. The garden reborn is magical and makes us feel so hopeful.
We may well feel that we want to grow something from seed and when we take those minute seeds from the packet and sow them, it feels like a miracle to watch the transformation into tiny seedlings, and then into healthy strong plants which will go on to give us so much enjoyment.
Being in tune with the cycles of nature by gardening, in whatever way we can - even just a small pot of seeds on a kitchen window-sill, or a few tubs on a balcony if you don’t have a garden - can make all the difference to how we feel. When we watch and tend to the seedlings’ needs for water, warmth, and light and see them grow and produce their leaves and buds, we can’t help but feel happy. When they finally bloom, it feels good for the soul.
“Spring returns like clockwork, year after year, bringing with it a reminder of our true essential nature, our oneness with the planet, the stars, sun, moon, soil, rock, earth. Along with the budding leaves and flowers, something in us opens up, lets down its guard, and bursts forth. The sun stays longer and fills our minds, hearts, and bodies with more light and life….As I turn my attention to my garden, I am filled with gratitude for this moment in the year when all is fresh and new. It is truly like being young again, like having nothing but possibilities before me.” (Quote from Veronica Ray, Zen Gardening)
This quote, along with many others from gardeners, poets, writers, artists and philosophers, is included in my anthology, The Joy of Gardening
For some springtime inspiration take a look at these short videos:
Late Afternoon in Our Meadow by Pissarro
Monet’s Garden at Giverny in Springtime