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Garden Reports and Rejoicing – April 13

Ilove violas and pansies. I value their happy, colorful faces and their ability to survive the fluctuations of spring temperatures. For me, these plants represent hope, faith and willingness. Unfortunately I’m afraid that the general public is shying away from short-lived, seasonal flowers.

Why plant pansies now, they ask, when in a month I can put in summer annuals and be done with it? At the end of the summer the same people ask why they should plant mums or ornamental cabbages instead of just cleaning out the summer annuals and shutting the gardens down for the winter.

One planting of annuals might work for some, but I propose that there are deeper, less obvious reasons to plant seasonal annuals.

For better or worse, most communities don’t come together for village-wide, cyclical celebrations anymore. The entire town isn’t turning out to dance around the maypole or rejoice in the fall harvest. Nevertheless, such traditional festivities that honor connections with each other and the earth resonate with our hearts and souls. They touch a primal, deep part of ourselves.

I think that when we make the effort to put the plants-of-the-season in our yards and gardens, we connect ourselves to the seasons and long-held traditions that are important on many levels.

While putting violas in my urns and gardens last week I was cheered by the longer day’s light and serenaded by the wild birds’ spring songs. I felt connected to all who were rejoicing in the coming of the growing season, and although my hands were digging in dirt, my heart was dancing around a maypole.

My main problem is choosing which pansies or violas I want, because basically, I want them all.

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