I spent the weekend tidying up my garden to create space for the new growth of spring. Under a brilliant blue sky, my pear trees celebrated each breeze with a confetti of tiny white flower petals. The wind chimes sang out in approval as I clipped and cleared away the dried brown branches from my perennial border. My basket filled with the natural remains of a season gone by.
I always leave the crispy foliage to overwinter on my perennials. I believe it offers some protection for the plants from the cold and it also adds some interest to the winter garden. Occasionally I will braid the old foliage down or rake it back into the border, but most of the time I leave it to be. It somehow honors what has come and gone.
I wait for the first signs of Spring.
Texas Redbud Tree (Cercis canadensis var. texensis)
Here in Austin, the Redbuds are the first to burst into bloom. Next the Texas Mountain Laurels perfume the air with grape scented flowers and the Mexican Plum trees literally hum with bees enjoying their white bouquet of blossoms.
Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora)
If I look carefully, I can then find the first tender shoots of new growth emerging from underneath a tangle of faded out leaves and sticks. That’s my signal to clear away the old, to make way for the new.
“There is a continuity about the garden and an order of succession in the garden year which is deeply pleasing, and in one sense there are no breaks or divisions. Seed time flows on to flowering time and harvest time; no sooner is one thing dying than another is coming to life.” Susan Hill and Rory Stuart
remember goodness grows,