Winter is waning. I have seen so many signs of it over the past two weeks or so. Robins are digging around in my gardens for earthworms. The male cardinal and his mate that are in residence in my yard are making more frequent appearances. The squirrels and chipmunks huddle in nearby trees and bushes and anxiously await my daily visit to the plastic dish in the rock garden that I fill with fruits, nuts and scraps of vegetables. Then, I watch from my kitchen window as they cautiously approach the dish and speed off with as much food as they can carry. In one of these daily visits to the yard, I saw my crocuses, tulips, hyacinths and tiger lilies breaking through the top layer of soil in the gardens. That same day, I checked my potted chrysanthemums, carefully pushing aside the fallen Autumn leaves I had used to insulate them, and found small green buds on the remaining branches. Even the trees around my home are full of buds. The days are definitely growing longer, with the sun not setting until around six or so in the evening. With Spring peeking around almost every corner, I find myself anxious to get outside and to spend as much time as I can outdoors.
Soon, my husband and I will begin the overhaul of our backyard, where we will tear out most of the existing garden and grass and replace it with a bricked patio, new fencing, a new firepit, and a new birdbath or small fountain, with potted herbs and flowers surrounding the patio but still incorporating the small existing garden plot where my lilac and itea virginicum have been growing since we bought our home. An old tree stump is waiting to be turned into a faery house that will be tucked under the Lilac. The majority of Spring bulbs that are right now beginning to break the surface will be transplanted to the rock garden and a few other spots. The goal is to transform the existing backyard to an outdoor room of sorts, where we can entertain, where we can celebrate, where we can just sit and enjoy each other’s company, where we can see, hear and smell nature all around us, where magickal things can happen.
The rock garden will also be overhauled this Spring, with a new stone retaining wall and three levels for flowers. All of the existing plants except for my beloved Burkwood’s Broom (Cytisus scoparius ‘Burkwoodii’), for which I anxiously await its Spring garnet-red blooms, will be removed and replaced with new flowering plants to attract butterflies and humming birds. The whole area will be a safe haven for all the birds and critters with new feeders, another birdbath, and animal and bird-friendly plantings. It too will become a magickal place.