Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer. ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth
Every year I go through the same illness...it's a winter sickness accompanied by the distaste that comes from drinking sour milk. Sometimes I feel a physical aching for spring.
Then, right when I think I am at the end of my abilities to handle one more day, one more frustration, I walk through my gardens and see something bright and beautiful bursting forth. Like the proverbial balloon bursting in a mid summer water balloon fight, I am instantly taken to a place of happiness.
While wrapped in a coat and several layers of clothing a few days ago I happened upon my Lonicaera Fragrantissima.
This demure family member of the honeysuckles is exactly what I needed to see. It's small white (almost translucent) blooms not only laugh at the still hanging on winter weather but they pack a powerful delightful fragrance as well. Their blooms appear in February to March on leafless rather unattractive wooden stems. This plant, with one foot in the vines grouping of plants and the other in the shrub family, is well suited to taking a good pruning. It trains very well too, so whether you want a espaliered form, shrub or gangly hedge (mine is trained as a small tree with a single trunk) it's blooms are it's glory!
Science tells us that things that smell good to us do so because they release endorphins in our brains. I am aware that every time I take a deep breath around this plant...I do get a bit happier. My winter illness abates a little and the hope that spring really is coming takes a stronger foothold.
The beauty of Nature is that she does not comprehend nor does she care for the insanity of man. Her clock is set by a much grander design that what we mere mortals cling to.
With so much bad news around us, one sometimes wonders if spring itself will shy away from showing it's face. Well, if my garden has anything to say about it, it's going forward regardless of what anyone thinks.
So wrap up warm, take a walk in your yard or one of the many Public Gardens we are so blessed to have in Portland or even walk through an Independent Garden Center. Let the fragrances and the early blooming plants inspire you to hold on few more weeks....