Serendipity Gardens: Passing the winter waiting for spring

Published 9:00 am Saturday, February 16, 2019

Serendipity Gardens by Carol Hegel Lang

Carol Hegel Lang is a green thumb residing in Albert Lea. Her column appears bimonthly. Email her at

So the groundhog said we’re supposed to have an early spring, but as I listen to the weather forecast for this week with more snow and a return of the cold, I have a hard time believing this prediction will come to fruition.

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Granted he is only about 50 percent correct and he isn’t a human weatherman, but it seems like we all put a lot of stock in his predictions.

Carol Hegel Lang

My seeds got ordered and I have received them, native plants are expected to arrive the first week of May, and the other plants that I ordered (daylilies and hosta) will also arrive in May, so this gardener is really getting antsy to get outside. Sometimes my patience this time of the year is not my best virtue as I mark the days off the calendar in anticipation of gardening season. There is absolutely nothing any of us can do to make spring arrive sooner, but we can sure dream of seeing those dandelions sprouting their pretty yellow faces, lilacs blooming and tulips painting a colorful picture in the gardens.

It has been a wonderful winter of bird watching that has helped pass the long, cold and dark days of winter, and soon those colorful migrating birds will visit the gardens. It would be difficult for me to decide what my favorite season is, as they all seem to have things I like about them.

The coziness of sitting down with a good book to read as snow falls along with a cup of hot chocolate makes me love how Mother Nature paints the landscape white and crisp with the fresh snowfall.  The anticipation of the rebirth of nature with spring makes my heart sing as I smell the lilacs, listen to the birds and check the garden daily for signs of new life. That first tulip peeking through the ground sends chills down my spine with excitement for what is to come. The bright colors of summer with morning dew on the flowers and as the sun rises in the sky, the garden comes alive with sights and sounds. The butterfly fluttering from bloom to bloom, the hummingbirds zipping around the feeders chasing each other and the longer daylight hours give me such pleasure to behold everything that is happening. With fall comes the bright red, gold and yellows on the trees, the smell of leaves burning and campfires. The crispness of the air mesmerize me. Life without all the different seasons would be so boring.

The one thing I do not look forward to every spring is the muddy gardens as Roosevelt romps through them, coating his fur with mud. Why oh why did I fall in love with a breed of dog that has a coat practically dragging on the ground? Thankfully, if you put him in the basement after he comes in, the coat will dry and shed most of the muck, but that depends on whether you catch him as he comes into the house and before he runs across the carpets. This fall we did not cut his coat down, so he has a lot of fur to collect mud on.

This year our spring will be busy with our granddaughter graduating, so I probably will not be doing much in the gardens until early June, and I am going to cut back on the number of containers — famous last words from me. My intentions are always good, but as I visit the garden centers I am afraid the temptation to not buy everything I see falls by the wayside. Maybe if I just took cash with me I would stick to this idea of cutting back, but that plastic is so handy to use. Anyway, it looks like I have a ways to go until I will be gardening, so maybe I can talk myself into really cutting back! I guess I live life to the fullest because tomorrow is never promised.

“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” — Lady Bird Johnson