Tag Archives: early spring flowers in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia

April in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia


(In front of our farm-house)

You are likely to find me out in the garden, because the garden is where life is. Everything is green, growing, flowering, or with the promise of blooms and fruit to come.  The garden is a vibrant place, and yet, deeply peaceful, too, and ever-changing. No two days in the garden are the same.  Each day holds new discoveries. Spring is a giddy time, with so much to do at once.

Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there. ~Thomas Fuller 1732 (This is very true)

While much of the country is still buried under winter, those of us fortunate enough to dwell in the Shenandoah Valley, or ‘The Shire’ as I call it,  are blessed with spring loveliness. Not that the weather doesn’t waffle here, because it has and does, dipping back into frigid temps after luring everything into bloom. But most plants are hardy enough to withstand this whimsy. We are well accustomed to the annual dance. I cover my gullible lilies and pray for the blossoming trees.

A new project has opened up in my gardening world with the redoing of our farm pond–digging out years of accumulating silt–and the expansion of the surrounding fence.  This gives us much more room to grow our dreams, safe from munching cows, and a lot of tree planting has ensued. Yesterday, daughter Elise and I planted thirty additional trees and bushes on the pond banks, after a long planting session this past Saturday with the enthusiastic help of my three oldest grandsons. While we labored, we were surrounded by birdsong from meadowlarks, red-winged black birds, the song sparrow, killdeer, cardinals… It’s hard work, but the pond will be glorious. Our aim is to plant for the birds, water fowl, fish, pollinators, and people. I’m envisioning magic.

(One end of our Pond)

(Elise, Me, and my three grandsons after a long tree planting day)

As for my writing, admittedly it has sagged as planting and gardening take priority, but I have a new story idea buzzing around in my head. Outside time gives me the opportunity to ponder my emerging plot. How can I not be inspired while enveloped in all this spring beauty?

(Virginia Bluebells in front of our house)

“Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day.” ~W. Earl Hall

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

“The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun’s kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.”
~Julian Grenfell

“In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.” ~Mark Twain

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
~Robert Frost

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” ~Mark Twain

***Images by daughter Elise Trissel

A Host of Golden Daffodils


A wonderful childhood memory of mine is arriving home after church one Sunday to find a clump of yellow daffodils, beaded with rain,  blooming beside the back door.  New flowers to me because I’d spent my early years in Taiwan where my parents both taught English.  We had a banana tree there, but no daffodils.   Rushing to the flowers in delight, I buried my face in the moist petals and breathed in the essence of spring.  To this day, nothing says spring to me like the fragrance of a simple  daffodil.

“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.” ~Gertrude S. Wister  *I totally get this quote 🙂

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. ” ~ William Wordsworth

“Daffodils that come before the swallow dares, and take the winds of March with beauty.” ~ Shakespeare

“It is daffodil time, so the robins all cry, For the sun’s a big daffodil up in the sky, And when down the midnight the owl call “to-whoo”! Why, then the round moon is a daffodil too; Now sheer to the bough-tops the sap starts to climb, So, merry my masters, it’s daffodil time.”

~ Clinton Scollard

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Its loveliness increases. It will never

Pass into nothingness….Such the sun, the moon.

Trees old and young; sprouting a shady boon For simple sheep; such are daffodils With the green world they live in.”  ~John Keats

“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

“It is not raining rain to me,

It’s raining daffodils;

In every dimpled drop I see

Wild flowers on the hill.” ~ Robert Loveman


“If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.”  ~Terri Guilleme
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*My tiny pom-poo and faithful friend Sadie Sue.