Tag Archives: Charles Dudley Warner

March Came in Like A Lamb, is Still a Lamb…


“Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.”  ~Rainer Maria RilkeLetters of Rainer Maria Rilke

This normally precarious, wildly unsettled month is unbelievably mild.   Crocus, Daffodils, hyacinths,  early tulips…are in full flower with the promise of more blooms on the way.  A cloud of blossoms envelop the apricot tree, the pears up by the old red barn are snowy white, the peach is pink…apples will be in flower next.  Our spirits are so buoyed we planted two new heritage apple trees, one peach, and a sour cherry.  If the frost holds off, we’ll have loads of fruit this year to can, freeze, make into jam and fruit butters.  Most of last year’s crop froze.

I’m already hard at work clearing away the vegetable garden,  spreading compost, planting early vegetable seeds….   The flower beds need cleaning of all the overwintering weeds so I’m busying myself in them, pruning roses, and generally tidying everything.  I’ve ordered new herbs and perennials that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  Some of the varieties I wanted are already sold out.  It’s only March 18th and I’m scrambling around like a demented bunny to keep up with the advancing season.  And the extended forecast shows more of the same unusually balmy weather.

All of a sudden it’s full-blown, bursting out all over, spring– like mid-late April, not March.  Will the weather hold, or will we be hit with a freeze?

I’m savoring all the beauty while wondering if it will suddenly be snatched away.  It’s mighty early to hope frost will pass us by, but last fall I found a solid brown woolly bear caterpillar with no black markings at all which means an unbelievably mild winter.  And thus it has been.  I’m putting my trust in the woolly bear as my prognosticator.   So much for Phil the Groundhog.

“Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.”  ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

“Hoe while it is spring, and enjoy the best anticipations.  It is not much matter if things do not turn out well.”  ~Charles Dudley Warner

But I really hope they do.

*Image of our barn by me, and spring lane taken by my mother, Pat Churchman. The remainder of the images are royalty free.

April On Our Farm in the Shenandoah Valley


So far this spring is filled with remodeling our old farm-house, and gardening, when it’s not raining,  and all the small people in my life, though not as much writing as I would like.  The remodeling is at an end, for now–there’s always more to be done in future projects.

Weather wise, we’ve gone from a gradually diminishing drought to flood watches out today.  April 2011 is turning into quite a wet month.  I’m not sure what ‘normal’ is in the Shenandoah Valley, but I’d prefer less extremes.   Still, I seek for the beauty amid the imperfection and this spring is sublime.  Thought I’d share a few pics of our farm along with some favorite quotes.

“April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.”  ~Christopher Morley,  John Mistletoe

“Hoe while it is spring, and enjoy the best anticipations.  It is not much matter if things do not turn out well.”  ~Charles Dudley Warner

“The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven –
All’s right with the world!”
~Robert Browning

“April is a promise that May is bound to keep.”  ~Hal Borland

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”  ~Iris MurdochA Fairly Honourable Defeat

“To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat. ” ~Beverly Nichols

“Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out values all the utilities of the world.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Flowers really do intoxicate me.”  ~Vita Sackville-West

“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.”  ~Gertrude S. Wister

“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words.  They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.”  ~Lydia M. Child

“Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

“Cares melt when you kneel in your garden.”

“A garden is a friend you can visit any time.”

“Kiss of the sun for pardon. Song of the birds for mirth. You’re closer to God’s heart in a garden than any place else on earth.” — Dorothy Frances Gurney

“But each spring…a gardening instinct, sure as the sap rising in the trees, stirs within us. We look about and decide to tame another little bit of ground.” ~Lewis Gantt

“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” — Henry David Thoreau

“It is a greater act of faith to plant a bulb than to plant a tree.”~Clare Leighton

“To dig one’s own spade into one’s own earth! Has life anything better to offer than this?”~Beverley Nichols