The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

A Prayer in Spring

Robert Frost (1915)

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

My favorite time of the year has arrived! Time to start seeds of early spring blooming flowers! Here in the Deep South we have to start sweet peas this early in order for them to bloom before the first heat wave comes (sometimes as early as late April) and steals their fragrant blooms away. This year I’m planting “Painted Lady”, the very first named sweet pea cultivar dating back to 1737; “Color Palette Cupid”, a window box variety with pastel pink and purple blooms; and “Jack and Jill”, a knee-high variety to go in my raised beds.

I am also giving several varieties of lavender (“White Ice” and “French Perfume”) another go….I haven’t been very successful with this endeavor over the years. The only lavender that I have been able to germinate reliably is “Fernleaf”,a Spanish variety that grows well here in the hot, humid South. So for the next few weeks every nook and cranny of my warm kitchen and sunroom will be full of small pots waiting for the first seedlings to poke out of the soil and unfurl their tiny leaves!

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