What Lies Below

 'What Lies Below' may sound like the name of some scary film starring Nicole Kidman and a lurking subterranean danger, but happily that is not my frame of reference today.

Rather an allusion to the joyful little rumblings below the garden surface... of hyacinths, daffodils, scilla, 

tulips, allium, crocus,

and other little wonders erupting...

from the now-warm earth... and exposed by my garden puttering of yesterday.

The fact is, this national-headline-making faux spring we've been enjoying has been a wonderful, glorious garden cheat.  

A cheat that has allowed us to sprint early out of the spring starting gate, giving us a jump on our garden chores; chores we are loathe to do when more delightful tasks of the garden call, but are happy to perform now after weeks of cloudless cold temperatures and short daylight hours.

A cheat we hope we will not pay for later in the form of nipped hydrangea buds,  premature bolting, frost heave and other garden terrors.

But woe be the gardener who looks a gift horse in the mouth...we would be foolish NOT to indulge ourselves AND our landscapes in this early garden preening.

Years ago, in March, my family stayed at the ever so charming INN AT PERRY CABIN in St. Michael's, Maryland. Everything about the place delighted and bewitched us, but I was, of course,

especially smitten with its outdoor spaces...the gardens, and terraces, seaside views 

and intimate spaces.

(True story: when capturing the link to their site, I happened upon this picture from their promo page...a picture of my older son sitting in front of the fire! We had been on a college scouting trip for him and had capped it off with a stay at the Inn. He ended up at the University of Virginia BTW). 

But, oh my.  The greenhouse and its gardens! I wandered and peeked and poked about. Absolute Nirvana, looking at the well tended, groomed and tidied eruptions of early garden springtime.

It was this 'tidied up' practice I particularly noticed about their plantings (and the lesson learned that I now share in this post)...

that is...that OUR late winter and early spring jewels, emerging bulbs and tufts of green, are welcome and endearing under ANY circumstances (or under any seasonal litter and leafy debris), but are ever so much more beautiful when given special treatment and primping. Tending and tlc we are often not able to provide as weather, time, and energy limitations prevent such garden vanities.

But a faux spring AND polished  and primped earthly jewels...

                         sheer magic.

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