How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and the heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!
–  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Rain in Summer


As spring draws closer, my thoughts turn to spring cleaning.  Not so much indoors, but more in the garden.  I am not a good house cleaner.  I have never quite grasped the usefulness of dusting, vacuuming or the like.  I do it as a necessity every so often , but avoid it whenever I can until I can no longer see the wood for the dust.  I know it must sound awful, but I take care of it.  Funny thing is when I do, I feel a wonderful release of stress; of not being boxed in.  My life feels fresh and new.  As I have been journaling recently,  I learned about the concept of “clutter clearing”.  Getting rid of clutter as a means to clearing your life and your mind.  To allow new things, new thoughts, new actions in by clearing out the junk you no longer need or cleaning the dust and soil from your surrounds.

When I have made the conscious effort to “clutter clear” it has been amazing.  And as the seasons are about to change, it will be time to “clutter clear” my garden.  I do some of this clearing in the fall for a few reasons:  so it is not such a huge job in the spring, to get rid of any diseased plants and if I don’t cut and clear certain plants the voles will nest, mess and kill plants.  So when the snow slowly recedes now and I can see my beloved garden again, I first see a tangle, nasty mess of leaves and flattened stems, vole paths, and a grey brown stark soil. I assess the damage and get out my trusty shears and shovel, hoe and rake.  I begin to clean away the debris that has been composting all winter.  And as each area is cleared, it looks fresh and new.  A canvas waiting for the paint to be applied by Mother Nature.  Slowly I am rewarded with bulbs and plants seemingly frantically pushing so hard to reach the sun and warmth.  And as they open their sleeping heads and the blooms burst forth, my heart and soul sing with gladness.  No really they do.  I feel born again every spring.  It is hard to explain how this clearing, this cleansing effect makes me light headed and giddy.  I can wander around aimlessly looking at virtually nothing to others, but I am seeing a new garden, new life being born once again.  It is never the same my garden.  Every spring, I wait to see what Mother Nature will bring me; what I hope to see.  And speaking of hope,  Sweet Bean Gardening has created the Hope Grows Day meme. The pictures here especially of the pond are what I hope to see in about a month.



One of the wonderful treasures I have every spring in the garden is the pond.  We lovingly clean up the debris from lifeless plants, we clean out the leaves and we bring it back to life (we, or I should say the Pond Master aka The Hubby, plugs in the pump).  It springs to life and calls for frogs, toads and birds to join it. The sound the water makes as it splashes over rocks is soothing and healing.  A sound I miss much like the sound of waves and surf that can lull us into a deep meditative state or sleep.

The life energy that flows from the cleared and clean water, is teaming with life.  Tadpoles also spring to life and begin to grow more. The plants surrounding its edges and buried in its soil, slowly work their way to the top.  It is almost like magic to see a water lily grow up from the mud to the surface, lay out her beautiful leaves and pop out with the glorious flowers.


So as the seasons come full circle, so has my life and my garden.  Many new projects started last year are continued this year as the garden continues to evolve.  And yet I know I will have setbacks in the garden as I have setbacks in my life.  I will be tested on lessons that I thought were done.  The area that floods (above) where I installed a rain garden will be tested and let’s see how it fairs; how the plants grow in their water world.  And I have another area just like it to fix on the other side of the garden, but that is another story.  So it is time to embrace the changes coming; to cleanse, heal and renew in the garden.


When time comes for us to again rejoin the infinite stream of water flowing to and from the great timeless ocean, our little droplet of soulful water will once again flow with the endless stream.
–   William E. Marks, The Holy Order Of Water


  1. Donna says:

    Love how you embraced the rain and planted a rain garden. What a superb idea. The Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem is a great week starter as is your wonderful post.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Donna…I had to change the focus from snow to rain and spring…we got hammered again…oh well this to shall pass

  2. Hanni says:

    Now those lovely gardens are something worth hoping for! 🙂 Thanks for joining in…this time of year especially I am so thankful for the hope of spring and new life and newness. I like your idea of clearing out the gardens in the fall…I usually wait until spring and tackle it all at once. 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Can’t wait to post the gardens in April and love thinking of new things t hope for monthly..this should be an interesting, fun, uplifting meme

  3. One says:

    Hi Donna, This is a meaningful post. I love decluttering the garden… a whole lot more than decluttering indoors. I must agree, that it does feel rejuvenating after clearing. Sometimes I cannot find what I need as I might have thrown it away but it doesn’t really make a lot of difference. It’s really hard to find anything when there are so many things anyway.

    • Donna says:

      I am so glad this post touched you…I have some decluttering to do inside these days that I am avoiding…I think once I just do it my spring will apear and the snow will clear 🙂

  4. Cyndy says:

    Oh “clutter clearing” is a wonderful description! In spring I also look forward to the pond tidying, as it will be bubbling with life. So nice to have outside chores to look forward to…

  5. b-a-g says:

    It’s so true that in times of stress, clearing the clutter around you has the effect of clearing your head too. When I first started gardening, I would have major clearouts periodically, but now I do a little bit everyday and it’s almost effortless. I am trying to apply this approach to other aspects of my life too.

    • Donna says:

      I also have these major efforts that help but am finding I need to do a little at a time so my body is not hurting so badly…great advice..

    • Donna says:

      I am sure your gardens would look gorgeous with a pond or water feature…so much fun if you have a part sun area…peaceful too

  6. Catherine/ A Gardener in Progress says:

    I’m really looking forward to watching as your garden returns. I can see from your pictures here just how pretty it is. I love seeing your picket fence 🙂
    I save the house cleaning for rainy days, unfortunately during the spring we have lots of rain. But I’d rather be weeding and working in the garden any day than house cleaning. I think I feel the same way about cooking that you do about cleaning.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Catherine…I am anxious to see it return and take pictures this year of the funny we are to prefer the upkeep and cleaning outside..I actually worked on the outside of the house first for about 5 years when we moved in..just recently painted the inside and started to decorate

  7. Stacy says:

    That first overview photo is so lush and green – a perfect match for the Longfellow quote. Enjoy that wonderful process of clearing out!

  8. Garden Sense says:

    How refreshing to clear clutter in our lives, homes and garden! I, too, do some garden cleaning in the fall and leave some till spring. It’s a treat to get out and cleanse on those inevitable spring-like days of late winter!

    • Donna says:

      Chris I am hoping to get a few of those late winter days but it does not look good with all our snow still…but I will take anytime soon to clear and cleanse…

  9. Tatyana says:

    Clutter… somehow it got to my garden too. I am removing some plants and getting rid of broken pottery pieces. Nice article!

  10. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    Lovely post Donna, I can relate to a lot of that. When I tidied and mulched my magnolia bed I felt loads better, and today I did some more clearing so that I could set up my coldframes again – ready for the rush of Spring sowing. Enjoy your projects, new and old, and I will look forward to reading about them, particularly your rain garden.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Janet…I will update on these projects and I will certainly take some lovely walks around the parks here and post on those…that will actually be such fun!!

  11. Alistair says:

    Spring is also the season for me Donna, I am looking forward to seeing how all your gardens develop over the coming Spring and Summer as my blogging didn’t really take off until last November.

  12. Elephant's Eye says:

    Clutter clearing, have started with half of the books (sorted, not gone!) and am eying the garden. Time to start removing some of the gone plants, and try again.

    • Donna says:

      I totally understand. I also have to finish some clearing indoors so I can be ready when the snow melts to get crackin’ outside…

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