Hosta 'Sagae' is one of the first to leaf out in my garden, its golden variegation a welcome splash of light in the shade garden

Hosta ‘Sagae’ is one of the first to leaf out in my garden, its golden variegation a welcome splash of light in the shade garden

It’s been 3 1/2 years since we moved into our mosquito-ridden swamp. Of course we didn’t know that’s what it was when we first saw this 5 acre property in July of 2009 – that realization came as we squelched our way from house to barn and back in ankle deep water all winter, and swatted and swiped endless man-eating bugs all summer. Let’s just say it was a little disheartening.

Today we can really see that the garden is taking shape. Drainage has been tackled, mosquitoes outwitted (the deer are another story), invasive weeds got under control or eradicated and finally we have something that says we live here. Driving down our gravel road, I turn the final corner and I can’t help but smile. I’m home.

The arakawa maple is one of the first to fully leaf out. This started as a 5g plant in a container garden 6 years ago. It moved house with us and is now almost 9' tall and wide. Love it.

The arakawa maple is one of the first to fully leaf out. This started as a 5g plant in a container garden 6 years ago. It moved house with us and is now almost 10′ tall and wide. Love it.

Yet I hesitate to show you photos of our garden this early in the season. It’s so much nicer/better/fuller in July. But there again September it glorious. Or even October with all the fall colors. But April? The daffodils are coming to the end of their bloom time and the rhododendrons are still tightly in bud. Is there anything worth showing you?

We have an abundance of ferns in the shadier parts of the garden. Watching them slowly unfurl is surely a spring highlight?

We have an abundance of ferns in the shadier parts of the garden. Watching them slowly unfurl is surely a spring highlight?

That was the challenge I set myself as I grabbed my camera and thick jacket this afternoon. To find something that was happening in the garden right now that you might enjoy with me.

My purple ghost maple was a bargain find! Love the emerging foliage and berry cluster -like flowers

My purple ghost maple was a bargain find! Love the emerging foliage and berry-like flowers

 

In fact taking the time to stroll rather than rush, and making the effort to look rather than glance revealed a myriad of fresh new growth throughout the garden. Maple trees are unfurling their pleated leaves, ferns are stretching their impossibly tight coils. Fresh fuzzy growth on conifers promises an extra few inches this year. Hostas are pushing up their purple pointed buds and opening wide to reveal glorious foliage in shades of blue, green and gold (assuming the slugs don’t get in there first in  which case I’ll have not-so-pretty lacy foliage).

 

My rescued 'Frank' Austrian pine is doing well in his new home.

My rescued ‘Frank’ Austrian pine is doing well in his new home.

 

 

Of course there are plenty of things in bloom too – bugleweed (Ajuga repens), bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis), lungwort (Pulmonaria) and fragrant viburnum are just a few examples. But today was about seeking out hope; the promise of an abundant garden. Looking for things  in the garden which are just emerging – their time in the spotlight still to come.

Welcome to my garden.

Welcome to my garden.

 

 

 

As the garden awakens from its winter hibernation, so our garden dreams are also slowly coming to life.

Our garden is finally emerging.

 

 

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