Spring—Time To Get Your Hands in the Dirt

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             As the thermometer rises and we shed our winter garb, for plant lovers like myself we know that longer sunlit days signal it’s time to get our hands in the dirt.  This spring brought us some of the coldest temperatures of the year.  The mild winter temperatures lulled me into thinking that it would pass without the jolt of a winter blast.  Just when I thought the coast was clear and I could don my flip flops and strapless dresses, winter showed up with its frosty fingers and reminded me “Not so fast.” 

Careful not to be outsmarted by Mother Nature, I waited until May for my annual pilgrimage to the local nursery for my favorite flowers and to test my hand at new wonders.  As I got in my car with checklist in hand, I thought back seven years ago when I first purchased my home.  I figured since I had crossed the threshold of homeownership that it was time to nurture a green thumb for my aesthetic pleasure and that of my neighbors.  I was nervous because my previous attempt to grow ferns in my apartment ended with me hauling two very dead bushes that vaguely resembled the ferns I had bought months earlier to the dumpster. 

Not deterred by my past failure, I visited the local garden shop and my eye examined each plant and its potential to add just the touch of color to compliment my front door. Row after row of pink, purple, yellow and white flowers filled my eyes and my nostrils with a sweet aroma.  Still undecided, I walked to the next row and was stopped in my tracks at the sight in front of me.  Sitting atop a display was a sunburst of color with yellow, green, brown and fuchsia intermingling in the perfect balance of color.  I walked closer admiring each leaf and wondered what was this creation.  I spun the plant around until I located the tag.  It read—Croton.  I had found what I was looking for and without any delay I picked up two crotons and before long I was at the register paying for my purchase. I carefully placed my crotons in the back seat of my car and eased out of the parking lot and made my way home.  I watered and fertilized my way into a new existence that summer and each year thereafter I would add something new–English Ivy,  Knock Out Roses, Tulips, and Azaleas to name a few.  

Now my trips to the local nursery include tomatoes, cucumbers and other delectables I enjoy on my table.  They grow in such abundance I am able to share with neighbors and friends Spring, it is my favorite time of year!

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