With my 56th approaching by week’s end, I thought to throw out a birthday challenge. Can I create a post a day, limit 300 words or so, each one about Nature or our garden? Of all the topics I blog about, writing about Nature thrills me the most.

Born in the spring and raised in Atlanta, I always thought the world celebrated by birthday my bursting into blossom. And while many a birthday up here in the Great Lake State has often been spent wearing snow boots, this year my day has been heralded for nearly two weeks already.

I am grateful for each of you who stops by, leaves a comment or just allows my words to lift your heart or pique your curiosity. I won’t send out a daily notice of a new post. Just know that there will be a nature reflection each day this week. Here’s Day Two’s post.

No matter how small or large, simple or complex, gardens take work. Either you’re weeding or planting, lugging around and working in soil conditioners, or you’re watering or fretting over the lack of rain. Your back is aching, your hands are blistered. And I’d wager any gardener you ask will tell you it’s worth it.

I’m a pissy gardener. I gripe halfway through planting the dozens of bulbs I couldn’t pass up. I whine about all the weeding. Each year I swear we’re moving into a condo where I’ll plant a handful of annuals in one, count it ONE, terra cotta pot.

But then the first warm breath of spring comes and with it delicious anticipation as those first curls of green force themselves through the earth. Day by day, inch by inch the leaves spiral upward; blossoms begin to unfold. Then the snows usually return and shock the heck out of these beautiful gifts. But they persevere, reminding me that I, too, should get out in my glory and give winter a big “So what!”

Whether it was global warming or the Passover pixies, all of our bulbs were up and glorious just in time for the Seders. I’d planted a ton of daffodils and on the advice of a fellow gardener, nestled a few tulip bulbs within a circle of daffs. “Rabbits won’t go near daffodils, so your tulips will be safe.” I was only willing to risk losing a half dozen or so of Holland’s best, but my pal was right. The spawn of MacGregor’s nemesis only got to one. The rest stayed safe within a circle of yellow-capped soldiers.

Look closely. See those six tulips guarded by the daffodils?
And then there were five. Dratted rabbits!

Passover has now passed. The hyacinths are waning. The daffodils have bid their adieux. I deadheaded the lot of them today, a sad endeavor. No matter how long they stay, it’s never long enough. But look! The lilies are breaking through the earth; at the other end of the bed, the peonies are opening their leaves to the sun. Anticipation quells all garden gripes, salves the blisters and mutes the aches. No, I could never be satisfied with a single terra cotta pot.