Discover the magic of spring


spring growth
One of the first spring-blooming flowers is the squill with its white and blue striped flowers, as seen April 16. John Zvirovski / The Sun

I always look at spring to be the time of discovery. It doesn’t matter if you are a master gardener or a beginner as everyone can learn something during this time of year. Most people think that you need degrees in the field in order to know all the ins and outs of the gardening genre. The fact is, we can learn many of these things strictly through observation and a little research on our own.

As a kid, I was always guided by my parents to take stock in the things around me and to see that everything is unique and valuable in its own right. I carry that with me today and when things get busy or stressed, I take a time out to slow down and spend a little time in the garden. If I do not have a garden at hand, taking a trek into nature works just as well.

To read more columns written by John Zvirovski, click here.


The season of discovery makes a great deal of sense as every little thing that is new for you, is a great discovery. From the minute the snow leaves in the spring, a daily stroll through the garden exhibits a new and exciting item or process. We actually find that the sleeping garden is slowly awakening with the first signs of green. The lawns slowly begin to turn green. It doesn’t do this overnight, but if you walk into the lawn, you will notice that there are new blades of green grass mixed in with the brown blades of last season. Each day more green blades over-power the dead ones and soon the entire lawn is a lush hue of emerald.

Looking through the garden itself, we begin to notice some of the earliest bloomers of the season. They expose a few leaves and before we know it a bloom pops out of the center to show its colors. Plants such as crocus, scilla, squill, pasque flowers and dwarf iris are some of the earliest. Their blooms stay close to the ground where they remain safe from freezing temperatures at night.

Other things we begin to notice are the buds on the trees begin to fatten up and show slight lines of green within them. If we look up we see thicker buds. Many of these bigger buds up in the trees are the seeds coming out. They are the first to appear and weeks later the leaves begin to make their appearance. Some fruit trees have buds that are really tight and close together in clusters; these are typically the flower buds and usually bloom before many of the leaves have come out.

Part of this learning through discovery is not just the sight of everything but often the scents. As the ground moistens through a deep spring rain, we smell the wet earth and almost feel things come alive. When the flowers begin to bloom, we are enticed to take a whiff and breathe in the wonderful scents that seem to last too short of a time. Heavily scented flowers are lilacs, peonies, lilies, plum blossoms and crabapple blooms, just to name some of the most common.

Not only are there great scents that fill the air but there are also amazing sounds that we start to pick up. Many birds come back into the scene and each one has its own song to sing and a nest to build to raise their young. At night when the birds go to sleep, we can hear insects moving through the garden with the slightest of sounds. Often we can hear an owl or the munching of a rodent and sometimes we can even hear the howl of a coyote in the far distance.

Through this process of discovery, we find out when certain plants come up in spring, we learn how the weather affects the growth of plants and we begin to figure out which plants show their colors during various times of the year. Depending on what your level of expertise may be, these discoveries can be just as amazing as any others.

Regardless of my background, I find that every day there is something new to discover in the garden. I am always amazed by the new things that come up. Some years they are earlier than others but it is enticing to find out the reasons why they come up in March one year and April in another. Nature is a mysterious realm and it always keeps me on my toes.


I love the season of discovery as it is the time I learn the most, not just through nature’s processes but also through other peoples’ stories on what has happened to them in the garden. Sometimes these experiences are good and sometimes bad ... but all show me a new and different lesson.

Band together this season and see what is new out there to learn about. You may just be surprised what you can learn from one another or just from a solitary stroll in the garden. Everyone’s experience is individual and enlightening, take the time out to become grounded again and find out what is going on around you. If you take a friend along for the ride, you might just enhance that experience beyond any foresight. Spring is the time to discover new things, so do not miss out on this opportunity.

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