04 April 2008

Listening, Looking, and Longing for Spring

Oh, tulips...I remember what tulips look like...when we used to have spring...
Permit me a little blogger-envy, gentle readers. I would have loved to join the bloggers spring fling this weekend in Austin TX, hosted by the amazing Austin gardeners; Zanthan Gardens' M. Sinclair Stevens; Bonnie at Kiss of Sun, Diana of Sharing Nature’s Garden; Digging’s Pam Penick, and many other talents. The closest I’ll get to Texas any time soon was today, when I spoke to a veternarian in Weatherford for a story I’m doing about a horse…

However, this weekend I am going to Truro, to my alma mater, the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, to hear Swedish garden designer Peter Korn give a presentation on Rock Garden My Way.

Mind you, the AC Rock Garden won't be looking quite like it does in summer, and Truro isn’t Austin, but I’ll be among the company of other plant addicts, and that’s always worth a lot. On my way to Truro and while I’m there, I’ll be looking for signs of spring while probably dodging snowflurries and other meteorological insults.

Speaking of spring…it’s no wonder I’m getting antsy, because I’ve had a look back at notes and articles and journal entries for previous springs, and things ARE very slow. Normally by this time of year, we’ve heard the banjo-tuning songs of the green frogs in our pond. This year, the pond is still frozen. While the early spring birds are here, they look less than happy, trying to navigate across the grass in galeforce winds, poking at frozen ground in hopes of finding a tasty worm or other dinner entrée. Any frogs are still buried in mud; we don’t have spring peepers so much as we have peepsicles. The only sounds I’ve heard the past couple of days have been galeforce winds; so bad this afternoon that one of the Halifax bridges was closed to high-sided vehicles, while the waters of Scotts Bay were roiled, angry and decidedly turbulent.

Nothing like spring about any of this. While the snow has mostly melted from much of the area, we still have vestigial glaciers in parts of our back yard, and frozen mud in the pasture which really annoys the horse. So I’m not the only irritable one. But my irritation is tinged with worry. Where the heck has spring gone? Should we run an advert in the personals? Or on Craigslist?

“Missing since 21 June, 2007: SPRING in Nova Scotia. Description: Fair skies, gentle breezes, plants popping into bloom, warm temperatures and happy gardeners. Suspected caught in the hot air out of Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and blown to the south. Would the finder please redirect this gentle season to get its butt down to Atlantic Canada (and other parts of Canada and the northern US) before a shortage of dark chocolate and orchids causes a recession.”

Well…though I can't be with them, I really do hope all the Spring Flingers have a terrific time in Austin and send some spring warmth back this way. Or else I’ll need to succumb to more orchids. For now I’ll cuddle Mr. Rescue Kitty and wait for him to tell us his name.


  1. Hi Jodi - hope your trip is a good one. In my former life in northern Illinois I remember many snowstorms in April - spring always seemed late.

    Please give the Spring Fling hosting credit to Bonnie at Kiss of Sun...she's a member of the Spring Fling committee with Pam, Diana and MSS. I was out of state when they got this amazing event together. All I have to do is have fun ;-]

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  2. I wish I was part of the Austin fun too.
    I hope spring finds its way to you soon.

  3. Do I need to give you a nudge towards the orchids again, Jodi?

  4. Jodi, maybe if you posted a 'REWARD OFFERED' with that notice.. Surely spring will come and once again the warm evening breezes will carry the singing of the frogs to lull you to sleep.

  5. ver dramatic seas there! yes its a slow cold spring everywhere it seems.
    love your new kitty, as long as they're not all in the same room at the same time who can tell there's an extra one!!

  6. Good idea about running an ad, we should have done that in Sweden when winter disappeared. We've haven't had decent winter weather here untill Easter...

    As for the swedish garden designer - heres some useful words
    rock=sten or klippa (which is a BIG rock)
    You won't need them, but you'll impress on him :)

  7. hi jodi! im too am hating that I'm not participating in the spring fling this weekend. I am hoping that it is such a huge success that they decide to make it an annual event. If they do we should really try to plan to go next year.

  8. Hi Jodi
    They closed the bridges ? .. it must have been bad .. so you are going to Truro ! that was our big town when we were posted in Debert .. it must be bigger by now ? LOL .. I would have loved to hear all about that forum on rock gardens and PLANTS ..
    I hate to say it girl .. but we are having great signs of Spring here finally .. it won't be long for you now. Hang in there !
    Hope the new cat "kid" is doing well.

  9. I just love rocks and rock gardens. I envy you that you get to at least be around other gardeners and talk about a fun yet challenging way of gardening. Sounds like fun to me.

    We are having our own meterological insult here again today, RAIN. UGH. We have warmer weather than you but I can't do anything in the garden when every step squishes. I would have to bale the back corner of the garden to even get close enough to see if anything is coming up. sheesh. I am still waiting for decent weather.

    You have your new kitty to play with. I am so happy to hear that all he needs is some tlc to get him into tip top shape. He is a hansome cat.

    I am more like your other catchildren. I am all in a pout since I can't go to the Spring Fling in Austin. It sounded like such fun.

  10. Jodi, your trip to AC (I attended TC way back when...and AC was like a second home) should be amazing! His work looks very interesting.

    As for spring -- really, it is coming! Honest! I saw the first robin this morning; without my contacts in, I wasn't sure, but could tell by the hop-and-peck steps s/he took. AND...the tips of some tulips that were planted and forgotten eons ago are poking their head through the sod under the runaway rose bush! So, faith, m'dear. :-) The wind yesterday was hateful, but the waves must have been amazing.

    Enjoy your weekend -- full report expected, of course!

  11. Spring has always been my favorite season, but the last few years it has been very brief. Perhaps those longer springs I remember were just a figment of my childhood imagination. Oh, I hope not!

  12. Hi Jodi, I feel your pain. Things are better here for us but not terrifically so. Our temperatures keep dipping back into harsh freeze zones and the plant growth is oh so slow. We need some of those warm spring days too.

    If we do get some warm breezes, I'll direct them up the coast line in hopes they arrive by you soon.

  13. Oh, I hope you'll do a post on rock gardens. I have a hopelessly huge part of my lower yard in rocks and would love to have some new ideas.

    Wouldn't a nice long weekend in Austin be nice? Too bad I'll not be able to attend either.

    Your new kitty reminds me of a handsome lion. How about "Leo" for a name?

  14. I hope that spring arrives for you soon! I guess I take my climate for granted. Everything is bursting out here. Of course we have those horribly hot and humid summers here and I bet yours is much nicer.

  15. So, you're going to listen to Peter korn! How interesting! (I'm planning on visiting his garden this summer - it's not very far from where i live.)
    have a great weekend! /Katarina

  16. That ad was great fun. I don't think I could handle that much cold weather and such. You're a braver soul than I am. I guess if I'd been accustomed to it all my life, I wouldn't know any other way. Though I hate the hot weather here, I wouldn't trade the fact that I get to garden much of the year.

  17. My, that water looks wild! If you get any results from your ad please let me know. We're all out of dark chocolates and orchids here!
    In looking back at last spring,s photos I too noticed that our blooms were earlier. We had crocuses in full bloom on April 3rd. They're still just green stalks poking through the earth so far this spring.
    If you can't be enjoying the Spring Fling and the warmth of Austin, the Truro and listening to Peter Korn sound like the next best thing. Have fun!
    Those tulips are such a wonderful colour!

  18. *wishing warm sunshine and spring rains for you soon*

    Wish you could come to Austin, too!

  19. I feel for you Jodi, but I just *had* to bust out laughing when I read about the "peepsicles". "Hot air out of Parliament Hill in Ottawa" oh my! This is just too funny.

  20. Hi Jodi : I'm going to see Peter Korn as well, been looking forward to it all week. I love working with stone. It was a lot brighter on my side of the bay today ( + 10 ) no wind to speak of. I enjoyed 3 solid hours after finishing the farmwork ( 4- 7 ) raking lawns and starting to undo the damage caused by the men in the family plowing the driveway and yard with the tractor and leaving moraines of gravel in their wake. Good news I did discover 5 bulbs shooting ( daffs I think ) under all that mess. I smell SPRING !! safe journey - Rosie -

  21. Hello again Jodi, wishing you a spot of sunshine this weekend :-D

    Gosh I had no idea winter could last so long with you. It must be torture seeing all the blooms and signs of Spring in other garden blogs. I know you can share in the delights of other gardens but you must be getting very itchy feet to see your own and to get out there!!

    How is you new book coming along?

    Enjoy your weekend :-D

  22. Where do you write about horses Jodi? Do you contribute regularly anywhere?

  23. Wow, the sea is really angry! When it gets like that, it always reminds me of the magnitude of its power...

  24. Have faith, I think spring is winking at us;).

  25. The weather was perfect. The locations interesting. The people absolutely fascinating. We talked and walked and talked until we were all completely frazzled. It was hard to say goodbye...there is still so much more I want to do and say and share with all these wonderful people who came to visit. Being relegated to a mere internet relationship seems so pale in comparison to seeing each other face to face.

    I wish you could have been here too.


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