A soft spring day in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is scented with the sweetest blossoms. Many of our best-loved flowers bloom in spring. Perhaps because they come after a long, cold winter, and are nature’s reward. Or God’s. Either way, I thought you might enjoy seeing some images my talented daughter Elise took of our garden(s) recently. I say gardens, plural, because we have many beds. Beyond the yard and gardens, we gaze down to the green meadow surrounding the pond like a gem from the Emerald Isles. And up above the glistening grass and green rye fields, are the wooded hills. Tender new leaves flushed with rose blend in with the many shades of green coloring the trees. Beyond the hills are the Allegheny Mountains. On a clear day, we can see the ridges tinged in green rising in the distance. Spring comes later in the mountains, but it comes in all its wealth and beauty. But back to the farm.
Below are some lovely quotes to accompany these images, with insightful commentary.
“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.” ~Ruth Stout
I totally agree with Ruth Stout, and have her gardening book. A real treasure.
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” ~Anne Bradstreet
Amen, Anne Bradstreet.
“Our spring has come at last with the soft laughter of April suns and shadow of April showers.” ~Byron Caldwell Smith, letter to Kate Stephens
What a beautiful romantic thing to write.
“The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven –
All’s right with the world!”
Robert Browning is quite the optimist, which one can better aspire to be if one spends a great deal of time in a garden. The world has run mad, but love still shines brightly. And he was deeply in love with the talented poet who became his wife, Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
“And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”
I do love the English Romantic Poets. Now, we must have some Keats.
“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.” ~John Keats
Why did Keats value quiet breathing? Because he died young of consumption. But he knew love, and was in love with a wonderful woman. He also deeply loved nature and flowers.
“Every spring is the only spring — a perpetual astonishment.” ~Ellis Peters
This is so true. I never weary of the delights of spring.
“The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun’s kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.”
I can’t say it any better than this.
Flowers in order are bleeding heart, tulips in front of the old red barn, Virginia bluebells, violets arranged in an old bottle we found on the farm that turned lavender in the kitchen window, cherry blossoms, and a bouquet of lilac beside the large potted geraniums on our sunspace. Elise made the arrangements and took all of the images herself.
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