Every year, just after the holidays, I start wishing for Spring. Some days I don't notice it, and other days it's almost unbearable. On days when it's bitter cold, there's a fire in the stove and the snow is gently sifting through the bare tree branches to blanket everything with a fresh coat of white, I'm content. It's those sunny days, or even cloudy ones, where the temperature gets near 40 degrees, that I start to get antsy. Usually a cold day with ice or snow will come along to get me back in winter mode, but it gets harder as the days tick away and we move ever closer to the spring equinox.
On the days when the longing is surfacing, I can usually distract myself with some hobby or chore. And then those colorful, wonderful, unbelievable (dratted, insidious, far-too-early) plant catalogs begin to arrive. When the first one hits my mailbox, I'm a goner. Yesterday, it was White Flower Farm. Today, Lord help me.
Years ago, the White Flower Farm catalog's arrival was like receiving a free encyclopedia in the mail. I read it cover to cover, and I learned a lot in the process. These days, I don't read it like I used to - it's too hard to read and turn the pages once the drooling has started. I don't order from White Flower Farm very often because their prices are quite high and because I try to buy as much locally as I can. But that doesn't stop me from looking at the photos and longing . . . .
Yesterday's arrival proved no different. I turned the pages and I wanted. But something else happened, too. As I turned the pages, I recognized plants I'd introduced to our garden just last year, most of them bought as babies and all bought late in the season. I didn't have much of a chance to see these plants grow and bloom before they faded in the fall, and now they are just dry sticks in the sleeping perennial border. Seeing photos of those plants in full bloom made me remember. Hey! We have THAT one! And now I'm longing for something different. I'm longing to see those new old plants emerge in the spring, grow and flower for the first time in my garden.
One of the plants was a pass-along Baptisia I received as a pot of seedlings. Will they bloom this year? And the coneflowers! I can't wait for the Double Delight and Coconut Lime. The Eupatoriums, the Anemones, the Lobelia, Aesclepias, Agastache and Monarda. The Crocosmia and all the bulbs. I hardly had time to know them before winter arrived, and now I'm longing to see them again. Oh, yes, there's still the longing for new acquisitions, but I'm out of room. For now, I'll have to be content with the plants I have. But I'm longing . . . . longing to see them all again.