Spring is Here


Isn’t spring a magical time of the year? If ever there was a season for lifting our spirits – then surely spring must be it. We have the joy of lighter days and the boost of energy that seems to come with it.

Robin William’s quote brings a smile: Spring is nature’s way of saying – Let’s party!

The dawn chorus certainly sounds like the birds are having a very good party. It is a pleasure to be out in the garden at first light, when the birds are singing away and peeking from behind the tree branches – just waiting for the first handful of bird food. Then down they swoop.

It was only two weeks ago that I stood in the garden, feeling a bit sad that there was such a cold wind. Everything looked a bit bleak. Daydreaming, whilst observing the beginnings of a perennial spiky plant, showing it’s new leaves – I noticed a movement – then another. What a sight. There was a little flock of goldfinches. They just love spiky leaves and that is why I grow teasels as well. The spikes on the leaves trap insects for the brightly coloured birds to feed on. There they were, right in front of me, I hardly dared to breathe, as I watched their bright red heads and colourful wing markings – what a privilege.

No wonder Gustav Mahler said: Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again. He also said: With the coming of spring, I am calm again.

Now all at once, the evenings are humming with the sound of lawn mowers. Windows are flung open as freshly cleaned carpets are drying. I have a theory, which you might like to hear:

Perhaps the reason why so many of us fall by the wayside, when attempting a new year’s resolution – is because it is right in the throes of winter. Not many feel inspired to go jogging during dark mornings and evenings. Even those of us who fall upon salad with great gusto during spring and summer, may not feel so inclined in January. Of course hearty soups are delicious and nutritious, but maybe we might also be tempted by a bit of pudding too! Anyway – my theory is, that it is so much easier in the spring to grasp the nettle and start something fresh and invigorating. Don’t you just love that righteous feeling – upon looking at the freshly weeded patch of garden?

So thrilling to later on to be rewarded, by seeing rows of vegetables popping up – or beds of flowers. If we feed the birds, they reward us by singing their little hearts out and if we are lucky, by nesting in our gardens. Then we have the thrill of seeing the adult birds feeding their fledged offspring. The young birds are so puffed up with their downy feathers, they look almost as big as their parents, but are easily recognised, as they flap their wings and chirp away for food. If you would like to encourage such birds as the goldfinch and space allows, try growing some teasels. By sowing seeds this year, you and the birds will be rewarded next year and every year after that.

Teasels make stunning architectural plants and the goldfinches fluttering around them, will make you smile every time.

by Babs

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