Spring is Here!

This is it. This is when it begins. It’s there now, but you have to look for it.

Be a detective. Turn your attention way down to the ground. Can you see it?

Today you might have to crouch down low or look up high to get a glimpse, but within just a few weeks it will all be happening so fast all around you, you will wish for it to slow down just a bit so you can catch your breath.

Signs of spring are starting to appear here in Toronto. The snow was beginning to melt just before we left for Florida and when we returned it was completely gone. I went out into the yard yesterday afternoon to poke around and test out some new cutting tools on the weed trees that are invading the fence between our yard and the neighbour’s. This is what it looks like right now. A blank slate that is coming alive. Even the little that is there gives me hope.

I moved the straw mulch aside and little garlic shoots are poking their way up towards the sun. I touched the soil and it is thawing. Soon enough it will be what we gardeners refer to as “workable” and I can begin the laborious, but thrilling work of levelling out a very bumpy yard. I’ve never been so excited to get down to what I know will be physically difficult labour. Let’s do this!

Here’s a peek inside my unheated, south-facing porch (aka “The Greenhouse“) this afternoon. This room is like a chamber of life. It was freezing cold and uninhabitable only a few weeks ago. Now it’s come alive with buds and blooms, fresh new leaves, and the sprouts of bulbs I planted late in the fall. It’s ahead of the season outside so it also serves as a reminder of what is to come outdoors.

On the left are lampasconi I planted as bulbs a few months ago, and on the right are Iris reticulata that I purchased as bulbs late in the season from a sale bin.

Fritillaria michailowski flowers are going to be here soon. Look at how much progress they have made since March 8.

And finally, a creeping savory plant I overwintered indoors is coming back to life underneath a glass cloche I recently scored at a local thrift store.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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11 thoughts on “Spring is Here!

  1. Can’t wait to see how your new garden develops. Don’t know how you feel about the shed (garage?) in the yard, but I have a similar sort of ramshackle backdrop in my garden (though it’s not such a fun color as yours), and I have come to love it… rust, busted window and all ;) Happy spring.

  2. Zoe: I love the shed! What a nice thing to have. I am too excited about it. I do wish it had a window, but beyond that I love the colour/rust/etc. It’s currently filled with old doors and junk that was left behind, but we plan to clean it out and make it into a place to store garden supplies and sit out of the sun.

  3. Lovely to see that bright yellow on such a grey day.

    I recently bought a house with an unheated *north*-facing porch, so I’ve been reading about your cold greenhouse with great interest and hoping that I might be able to find plants to overwinter outside my front door. It’s fantastic to peek so many signs of life there! So much potential. I also can’t wait to see how your yard grows.

    Happy spring!

  4. Moved the straw off my garlic shoots last week, I wonder If I did so too early. I was sure excited to see them.
    My outdoor bulbs are yet to poke through though.

  5. Hello, garlics! Welcome!

    The teeniest of baby cabbages and broccolis just popped out to check out their temporary home by my front windows.

  6. What an awesome welcome home surprise! I what in eager anticipation to see your yard move forward Gayla.

  7. its nice to see spring is here some of my dwarf tulips are already in flower halifax west yorks england

  8. We’ve still got patches of snow, but I found the first of my crocuses blooming on Sunday which made me happy. Of course, this morning it was snowing, but I’m pretty sure it won’t stick at this point.

  9. I’m jealous. It doesn’t look like Spring here at all in the Laurentians in Québec where I am. Zone 3B, I have snowbanks as high as 4′ around the house. I just moved here and was in a 5A zone, I believe Toronto is 6A, compare to 3B it’s Florida to me!!!
    I was reading a quote I love this morning and wanted to share:
    Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.
    May Saton


  10. Thank you for bringing some spring to me! I’ve been in desperate need of it here in Alberta and your little shoots of growth are so nice to see!
    Thanx for sharing! :)

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