Tag Archives: Virginia wildflowers

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

I Dreamed a Dream of Spring but They’re calling for Snow Again–Beth Trissel


 Images from past springs in the valley that shall return.

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
― Margaret AtwoodBluebeard’s Egg

 *The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  

Photographs by my mom, Pat Churchman

“Where man sees but withered leaves,
God sees sweet flowers growing.”
~Albert Laighton

“And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant

*Virginia Bluebells in my garden, flowers given to me by my dear grandmother.

“I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring.  Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth?”  ~Edward Giobbi

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

*Poppies and iris in the garden.

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”  ~William Shakespeare

“Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
To-day the glint of green is there;
Tomorrow will be leaflets spare;
I know no thing so wondrous fair,
No miracle so strangely rare.
I wonder what will next be there!”
~L.H. Bailey

“If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring

 and stay that way later in the fall.”  ~Nadine Stair

*Country Lane in the valley.

“Spring in verses,
Verses in spring.”
~Violet Gartenlicht

“Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; 

now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.”  ~Virgil

*A country roadside not far from our farm.

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.”
~Bern Williams

“Spring is when life’s alive in everything.”
~Christina Rossetti

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden

*My parent’s yard

“A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.”
~Emily Dickinson

“Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil.”
~Bishop Reginald Heber

“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.”
~William Wordsworth

Stone wall with daffodils at my mom’s house