(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on February 16, 2011. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to respond to your questions.)

I am nearly certain that spring is on the way, despite weather predictions of another giant snowstorm this weekend. I can't even count how many storms we've had this year. Even Comcast is running out of words to describe them. We get "whomped," "waffled," "mauled," "KO'd" and "dumped on." "Storm careens toward midwest" or "storm whales on northeast again" are getting to be mundane headlines. flock of birds

Yet despite all this wintry news, I know that spring us coming because there is a little more light every day.

I must believe in spring because of my Dave's Garden friends, like katiebear in Mexico, who says the birds are gathering, readying themselves for the long journey north. The birds believe in spring.

I even saw a flock of birds, earlybirds I guess, headed north the other day.

There is evidence that I believe in spring because I taught a class of kids at my church about winter sowing last Sunday, and had them put their jugs of seeds out in the snow by the Parish Hall.

winter sowing jugs

Another friend, lovemyhouse in Texas, has been regularly posting pictures of blooming things to keep us going!

My good friend and fellow writer sallyg in Maryland is forcing her branches of forsythia indoors now.

Seacanepain in Alabama says the sweet olive is blooming down there, and he sent me a picture of that, too.

I hsweet olive in Alabamaave always been a singer, a musician, and the words of songs have resonated inside me even before I could really express or understand them. When I was a lot younger, before CDs and iPods and the internet or any of that, I heard a song about spring on the (analog) radio that perfectly expressed the way I felt just then. It took years before I heard the song again, but the words of the first few lines, where 'snows' rhymes with 'rose' and 'knows,' were stuck in my head. Not until I tried to grow roses myself did I realise the incongruity of the secret of a rose being beneath the deepest snows.

...Just think if winter comes, can spring be far behind?
Beneath the deepest snows, the secret of a rose
Is merely that it knows you must believe in Spring!

Just as a tree is sure its leaves will reappear;
It knows its emptiness is just the time of year...


(Alan and Marilyn Bergman)



This one song, which I first heard years before I had a scrap of land to garden on, has stayed with me through the years. I was particularly impressed by the tree they describe, totally confident in the return of its leaves and accepting of winter as the inevitable harbinger of spring.

iced-over dogwood tree dogwood tree with buds

dogwood in full bloom

DOGWOOD TREE ENCASED IN ICE
DOGWOOD TREE BUDDING OUT
DOGWOOD TREE IN FULL BLOOM

One subscriber put it perfectly when asking about when to start seeds in Texas. Behillman said "I do know that everything bursts into a growth process," wondering about the perfect date to start vegetable seeds outside! Although the icicles from the gutters are about to reach the snow on top of the bushes under the windows, I must believe in spring.

photos thanks to designart, Melody, nutsfordaylily, seacanepain, morguefiles.com.