What does spring mean to you? I can tell you it means the beginning of the new growing season to me and so much more! Not only is it a new season, but it is a new year full of different and unique surprises. As gardeners know, there isn’t any year that mimics another as the weather conditions are never the same.

As soon as the snow begins to melt, the season begins for me. It starts in subtle ways such as the return of numerous birds and the hint of green beginning in the lawn. Soon the days start to get a little longer and the birds begin to chirp non-stop in the early hours of the morning. It is music to my ears to hear their singing each and every morning regardless if it is cold or warm. They seem to be just as happy as I am that spring has begun.

I find myself wandering around the yard every day to see what is new. I see the first spring bulbs and perennials begin to peek through and it entices my creative thoughts on what to plant for the year ahead. I watch with great eagerness to see what will appear next.

With the long winters we have had over the last couple of years, I think this excitement just increases as we all thrive to have a little greenery back in our lives. This year is so much different than past years for many reasons but being cooped up inside is one of the major ones.

As the weeks have passed, the spring flowers have begun to bloom and those vibrant colors just radiate life. Their slight scents catch you as you walk by and some of the stronger ones like the hyacinth make you stop and inhale it all in. As the flowers begin to bloom, I think to myself that this is a great reward to thinking ahead and planting more in the fall time when they need to get in the ground. In the fall, six months seems like a long time to wait for blooms, but as with any year it comes fast and the rewards pay off!

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As soon as the spring flowers are in full bloom, the trees begin to explode in masses of color. The plums, cherries, pears and apricots become covered in white and light pink blooms. The thousands of blooms they produce create a cloud of perfume that is like heaven. Even an allergy sufferer like me will not complain of the beauty and aroma. Then the apples and crabapples begin to bloom and their scent is amazing along with the beautiful colors of white, pink, deep pink and reds. These trees can be seen from quite a distance and the short 10 days they are in bloom are worth every second. These are followed by the lilacs which seem to usher us into the summer season.

Spring isn’t just about the blooms in the garden, but about the scents and sensations you discover along the way. After that first rain, nobody can deny the wonderful smell of wet earth. Some people say it smells like earthworms, others say it is just fresh, but I say it smells like the amazing smell of wet dirt that you take in when you first go through a greenhouse in March when things are beginning to grow. I will always see that similarity every time.

The birds weaving nests with their incredible talents is another facet of spring that amazes me. I can sit back for hours watching them fly by collecting strands of nature to weave into their homes that will soon house their young. The geese are the first to boast about their brood and soon are followed by the ducks, robins and other neighboring birds.

Getting out in the yard and beginning the process of prepping the beds and cleaning the tools is another wonderful avenue of spring I enjoy. Making things look neat and clean gives one a sense of admiration for what it is all about. The great outdoors present us with cool temperatures mixed with very warms ones and are enhanced by some days of strong winds and others of unique calmness. And yes, on occasion we will still get some frost, but those days are numbered at this point.

I ask you in the coming week to challenge yourself and get outside and take a little time out. Think about what surrounds you and ponder the thought of what spring might mean to you. Maybe for you it is getting outside for a cookout or maybe to get the kids out to play a family game in the fresh green grass. For others it might be working a new project or fixing up the house. We all have different likes and views and there are many ways to find the meaning in the season that is well underway!

I am so glad I added an additional 85 spring bulbs in the garden last fall as they are performing so well this week. Yes, the wait was all worth it!