March 14, 2013 old 018 (2)
Some folks live in the past, dwelling on what has been. Some folks live in the here and now, in the moment. I live in the future, always thinking about what will be. The buds of leaves and flowers fit perfectly into that mindset.
Above: Old fashioned no name lilac showing what is coming soon, Syringa vulgaris.

March 14, 2013 old 029 (2)
Daily we watch for changes in the garden,for the swelling that signals something special is coming soon.
Above: Wallflower volunteer, Erysimum ssp..

December 7, 2012 008 (2)
Seeing color is the sign we have been waiting for. First it was the witch hazel, Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ that revealed a twinge of orange beneath her overskirt of fawn,way back in early December of last year.

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Now it is the purple leaf peach, a gift from dear neighbors that is teasing us with the palest shades of pink.

Pollinators adore these blossoms, as do the humans. (Photo from March 10, 2012.) A cooler than normal, whatever normal is anymore, March has delayed the parting of the curtains to signal the spring extravaganza.

March 14, 2013 old 010 (2)
But the signs are everywhere that it will be soon.
Above: Buds of promise on the dinosaur kale, Brassica oleracea “Lacinato”.

Sierra Exif JPEG The anticipation is sublime.
Above: White breasted nuthatch on the just flowering multi trunk silver maple.


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17 Responses to Swell

  1. Barbara H. says:

    Your post is swell, too, Frances, ushering into this wonderful season of promise and growth. Some things are popping, or about to pop, while others look yet like dead sticks or trees. But there is life beneath that dull exterior. Thanks for the reminders.

    Hi Barbara, thanks for stopping by. It is a time of change, certainly. Flowers and dead looking sticks sums it up nicely. All will change soon!

  2. Carol says:

    Hi Frances. I also like to anticipate the future in the garden, and nothing says “just wait until you see me tomorrow” like swelling buds.

    Hi Carol, thanks for joining in here. Anticipation is one of the very best things about gardening. And everything!

  3. gail says:

    Anticipation is sublime! Love that…and the slower march toward spring than last year. Aren’t the nuthatches the best birds to watch creeping up and down the tree trunk? Love the purple leaf peach bud and bloom and wonder if I could grow it and how large it might get? happy Monday! xoxogail PS You know I am now singing Carly Simon’s Anticipation!

    Hi Gail, thanks. I do love the cooler march of March this year, and so do the flowers and birds. The nuthatch is a favorite, even feeding at the suet cakes upside down. The purple leaf peach is small, less than ten feet, and of course I prune mine. Happy rainy Monday to you!

  4. Ahh, yes, anticipation…I know it well. I am a person who excitedly counts the beginning to swell flower buds on a dogwood tree planted the year before. I am a person who will count the flower stalks shooting up from a clump of daylilies….greedily celebrating that there are more this year than last. I am a person who eyes with satisfaction the signs of robust growth at the base of a cut back clematis. Glad to know I’m in good company when it comes to taking great delight in anticipation.

    Beautifully put, Michaele, thanks for adding to the conversation here. Watching and waiting, by the day, hour, minute and second makes gardening so rewarding. I do love buds and the way they tease us with their swell approach.

  5. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Yes, this is a swell post. The anticipation is almost as good as the bloom.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. Seeing and watching the buds makes me so happy. Once they open, it is all downhill!

  6. Christy says:

    Hi Frances…you always have such nice photos! I love to walk around the garden and look for new growth. It’s a daily ritual for me , weather permitting. This time of year there’s always something new. Usually there’s also something new late in the day that wasn’t there in the morning. It’s so amazing and I get so excited to see everything.

    Hi Christy, thanks for sharing here. That is my ritual too, done over and over again each day. There is so much to see, we don’t want to miss any of the fun!

  7. I love when the lilac buds open enough so you can tell which ones are leaves, and which are flowers. The tiny flower buds look almost like miniature clusters of grapes.

    Hi Kathy, thanks for visiting. Seeing which buds are flowers is one of the joys of spring. They do look like grapes!

  8. Leslie says:

    That is what I love about spring…it makes you want to just sit in the garden and watch the explosion so you don’t miss a thing.

    It does, Leslie. I want to be outside every single minute then, especially on warm but not too warm days.

  9. lynngator says:

    You are way ahead of us Frances! Love that lilac. I am still waiting for the forsythia so I can prune my roses!

    Hi Lynn, thanks for adding to the conversation. We prune the roses here on Valentine’s Day. The forsythia is in full bloom right now, a month later.

  10. Dee says:

    I try to live in the here and now, but spring seems all about the future. It sure is swell.~~Dee

    Hi Dee, thanks for visiting. It is swell, isn’t it? Buds excite me.

  11. I’m anticipating anticipation. The good news is that if spring has come to you, it surely will make it’s way further north – eventually. Yet another winter storm headed our way. Want to go outside and comfort the Hamamelis – feel so sorry for those little yellow petal chips. Thank you for that glimpse of what’s to come!

    HA, Barbara, good one! Spring will indeed come your way, soon I hope. For us, it is not the cold and snow that harm the witch hazels or early flowers, it is too hot too soon that fries things to a crisp. We are lucky that this year is cooler. The flowers last longer then.

  12. xericstyle says:

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooo I always love your words. I think I may live in the future too. 🙂

    Thanks so much, Xeric Style. To me, living in the future means thinking ahead. I can’t not do it.

  13. Cindy says:

    I’m just starting to see the buds open on my Mexican Buckeye … I had feared it wouldn’t bloom this year & go straight to foliage. The Mexican Plum may be doing that for the 2nd year in a row and it’s making me cranky. Its days are numbered if it doesn’t shape up!

    I hope your trees and shrubs keep you happy, Cindy! But if they don’t, out they should go.

  14. I have also been watching the buds swell, on the dogwood, the viburnum, the elderberry … It’s very comforting to see.

    Hi Jason, thanks for sharing here. It is comforting, to see the continuity from year to year, even though the calendar date might be different.

  15. Sharon says:

    the future causes anxiety because things dont always go like we plan…and thinking about how things used to causes depression sometimes..so living in the now is the best and hope the best fo the future…lovely pink blooms

    Interesting way to look at it, Sharon. Thinking about the future and trying to plan for it is the way my brain is wired. It doesn’t stress me, it comforts me. If there is a surprise, all the better!

  16. commonweeder says:

    The only thing swelling at the End of the Road this week is the snowbanks. But t he sun is out today, and we are promised warming. It will take a while for so much snow to melt, though. I love the Diane witch hazel and I think I just figured out a place to plant one. Your photo was an inspiration.

    Hi Pat, hang in there! The snow will melt and all will be well. Diane is a beauty!

  17. I just love the lilac buds! The flower buds are perfect..

    Hi Nelson, thanks for stopping by. The lilacs are a wonder, it is true. We can barely grow them in our zone 7a, but the flowers are worth the space the shrub takes up, for the scent and memories of childhood.

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