Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

“Against all odds, a seed rises from darkness and beautifies the universe.”

~ Matshona Dhliwayo


These words…these are my hope.  As of Friday, we were still very cold in the 30s and 20s with daily snow and snow on the ground from time to time.  I was so confused when I went for my walk that I thought it might be late November or February…even early March.  But not April, certainly not April.



I have lost at least 3 weeks of spring…3 weeks in my garden….3 weeks of starting my veg garden.  It is hard not to feel deep melancholy.  I just want it to warm up….to let the flowers open that are ready….to let the critters build their nests and get on with their lives.  We have all been held hostage in this eternal winter.

And I couldn’t get past these dark musings about the spring that should be here…that will come surely, but when?  And I was tired of trying ‘to make the best of it.’



I know I can’t change the weather.  And after all the birds are still singing.  Even the spring peeper frogs are singing in the pond in the wild area.  Every cold night the pond does not freeze, I hear their chorus, and am reminded that yes it is spring despite this lousy weather.

But you know, this cold, ridiculous, horrid weather has taught me something again about letting go….about my resilience, and even my shadow self.  My happiness, my mood is controlled by me.  I can wallow in self-pity and gloom, or I can choose to let go of the fact that this should be spring….this would be spring if only.  Instead I am latching on to the fact that it could be spring, if I let it be.

And with that, the weather has begun to actually warm, and the forecast is for warmer days and nights.  So I am moving on too…..to getting my garden started….cleaning, clearing, planting!



The one bright ray of hope in my cold days has been the seedlings growing bigger and bigger….waiting, with me, to be planted out.  Look at these coleus.  They are getting huge.



And my peppers (above) along with eggplant, other veggies, flowers and herbs are making great progress.  Tomatoes were started this weekend indoors along with sunflowers.



Here are my pansies looking perfect.  I will be planting them in containers this week.



Along with these snapdragons, many are already blooming under the lights.  These will be my first seedlings getting outside.



I did plant my sprouted peas with radish seed in the pea bed about a week ago when we thought it would be warming.  They have been sleeping under cover.  I also started carrots and beets with more radishes under cover in the squash bed.  I don’t think any have started germinating, but now with new warmth, I am hoping to see the veg garden sprouting soon.



And look who turned up.  This young, male wild turkey wandered onto our side of the road and walked along our fence.  I suspect he was looking for new territory to breed and have his own harem.  When we put up our fence, we unknowingly cut off the wild turkey run, that ran from the wild area behind us, through our yard and across the street to the dense woodland.  They have been gone from our side of the road for 10 years now.  So you can understand my excitement in seeing this young male.



And look…..look who he brought with him about a week later. They are now living in our wild area.  I hope to see baby turkeys in a few months.  This sight brought so much hope to my life as a lesson in never saying never.

So with this sign of spring hopefulness, I leave you with a few words of wisdom this unusual spring has brought me.  That letting go can bring us such freedom and space for growth.  It can allow you to see amazing beauty and hope, and can restore your faith in your little corner of the world.



This bouquet and the one near the top of the post, are the front and back of a beautiful bunch of flowers given to me by my husband’s cousin when he stopped by for lunch early in the month.  They have brought me beauty, hope and faith for weeks as I await the return of spring.


What have you learned this spring?  What have you accepted or let go of in this unusual early spring?


One thing I know about my garden is its resilience and desire to bloom.  So through all the cold and snow, the Iris reticulata (pictured at the top of the post) have popped up and stuck around.  I cut a few for a small vase to welcome in the season today.



There are 3 varieties of Iris reticulata here, but I have lost the tags, although the light blue one you might recognize as ‘Katherine Hodgkin‘.



This vase was placed on an altar of sorts dedicated to friends.  The framed quote I love about friends can be read in the first picture.


I am joining [email protected]Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful In A Vase on Monday meme. The pictures shared here were created with my iPod Touch camera and two free apps, Pixlr and Prisma.

I am posting poetry, almost weekly on Sundays, on my other blog, Living From Happiness.  You can read my latest poem here.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2018.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

38 Replies to “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda”

  1. I hear you loud and clear! Who would have guessed that our biggest snowfall of the season would happen on April 18? Certainly none of us who live in southern Wisconsin. The temps have suddenly started to climb and I am hoping the rest of the snow disappears by the end of the day. Not sure if I learned anything other than to have a good supply of books on hand so I can turn my back on the weather when I need to!

    1. I had to chuckle as I too have had a good supply of books and projects this winter….glad your snow is melting….we have warmed to 70 and I am out cleaning, weeding and planting.

  2. It’s a lovely spring vase Donna. How I feel for you! What a long winter you have had. And yet your spring will be here quicker than ever now and things will race to grow! I do hope it warms up this week for you!

    1. Spring has sprung and I agree my garden is racing which is a delight. I know we will be up and down with temps for a while but eventually we will have consistent warmth.

  3. The flip side of darkness is light and we do choose which side to focus upon. Glad you’ve made lemonade out of the weather’s lemons, Donna. The past few days’ warm up has been most appreciated by me as well.

  4. I am so glad you have had the excitement of your seedlings to keep you going in recent weeks – isn’t it a wonderful process? I love it – but I might have overdone the number of things I have sown this year!!. The photo app works wonders on irises – they were made for techniques like this, it seems! Absolutely gorgeous results 🙂

    1. I do love seed starting Cathy….I know I overdid it too and now I have to find enough room and containers for them all! 🙂 So happy you liked the app effects.

  5. I feel similar angst and frustration when winter fails to deliver rain here. Despite my talk of rain dancing, there’s really nothing to be done about it except catching every drop I can when the rain does fall, mulching beds to help them retain moisture, and contributing generously to organizations supporting climate science. Your spring WILL arrive and I’m sure you’ll celebrate every moment when it does!

    1. You make sure you do use every drop and your garden and vases show it. Spring has arrived with warmer weather so I am in heaven in the garden!

  6. Lovely lovely lovely! You make me feel lucky. Here in central Virginia mountains, I’m pleased to have temps of 50 to 60 most days. Still it is a very strange spring. Thank you for your beauty!

    1. Oh if we stayed in the 60s and upper 70s I would be happy….I am pleased you enjoyed the beauty of my garden Brenda!

  7. Your seedlings all look so big and lush. I hope you get the nice weather you need to get them outside and growing soon. We are fortunately in line for some good weather here this week, so i’m planning to get a lot of gardening done. Love your little vase of Iris reticulata.

    1. I started hardening off the pansies and snapdragons yesterday and hope to get them in containers by midweek…..we are moving fast here now! So glad you are getting good weather too!

  8. Your seedlings are coming on brilliantly and look very healthy. Let’s hope they can get outside soon but it pays to be cautious. Beautiful iris, I love their rich colours. Letting go is a useful lesson to learn., I’m not sure I’m so good at it.

    1. Yes, I am going slowly with pansies and snapdragons as they will take some cold days….I am still learning to let go these days….a hard lesson.

  9. You have been busy. I also don’t do anticipation well. My mother told me ‘patience is a virture, possess it if you can. Seldom found in women, Never found in man’.
    I definitely belong to the seldom catgory (and would dispute the last line of her ditty.
    It is often so hard not to be able to chivvy Mother Nature to move at any speed other than her own – but it is wasted energy. I don’t have any to spare so am learning (reluctantly) to wait.

    1. Yes that virtue of patience has eluded me too….and since I can’t change the weather, I try to go with it….but after a while it can get to me and try that tiny bit of patience I have.

  10. My goodness. Warm up, New York! I complain about the summer heat here, but I am not sure I could survive that far north. I truly admire your ability to nurture seedlings, and you have quite the beautiful collection of irises.

    1. Yes the winter here can get to even the hardiest of souls….but we are warming a bit now and I hope a smooth spring will follow….sometimes we can have a fast spring and an early summer, but I will go with the flow of the seasons.

  11. Oh Donna, I am gearing up to let go in such a big way! Selling the house and Violet Fern garden. I am not as sad as I thought I would be because as you hinted, how I feel is a choice. I am letting go of the past and running full steam ahead into the future. I will be packing/sorting/letting go of nearly every single item in my Northern home this Spring/Summer … and the garden. I will keep some of the garden “art” to bring to the lake and down South where I will NOT HAVE TO PUT IT AWAY EACH AND EVERY SEASON. I’m looking forward to that. I try to imagine how I would cope with this everlasting winter up North but I don’t think I could! I let go of the North my home of 50+ years and embrace this tropical and foreign paradise, too. Lot’s of goings here but I can’t wait to move forward. I hope you still have a semblance of spring and don’t switch right into summer!

    1. Yes you indeed are letting go of so much and I suspect I will too when we move as well in a few years…perhaps a downsize and staying here, maybe a complete move to the warmth. I too hope we stay in spring for a while since I missed 3 weeks of spring already.

  12. As you well know, I so completely relate to the frustration caused by springs late arrival. The last couple of days, however, have been glorious! I’m reveling in the sunshine and warmth and have a feeling the cold start will be a distant memory before long.

  13. Donna, I can see you’ve found some positive ways to cope. Glad spring is closer to your door as indicated by the beautiful Iris reticulata. What a treat!

    1. It has been wonderful having a warm up this past weekend. And indeed it was a treat to see the early blooms Susie….glad you enjoyed them too!

  14. Oh my gosh, I don’t know how you are dealing with snow in April! Yikes. Perhaps a beautiful summer and fall will make up for spring’s late arrival. Good for you for going with the flow. Your arrangement is gorgeous!

  15. I’m amazed at the lush health of your seedlings, Donna! I do believe they’re the healthiest seedlings I’ve seen, outside of garden center greenhouse plants. Wow! That, alone, is a hopeful thing. And, yes, spring has sprung! We are in the 60s for a few days, with 50s, 60s, and 70s after that. I can’t believe we just had a snowstorm last Wednesday! Craziness! Oh well, time to move forward. Enjoy your planting. 🙂

    1. Thanks Beth. Yes it is hard to believe we are finally in spring. Such an abrupt start but I’ll take it. We are not going to be as warm after tomorrow here but anything higher than 30s and 20s is a step ahead.

  16. I’m very impressed you start from seed. Boy oh boy you have a great selection also. love to see them in the garden when ready.

  17. Donna, I am astonished by your beautiful pictures every week and amazed that they are created with simple technology. I have always thought that irises are the perfect artist’s flower and yours prove that to be true.
    Can’t believe you still have snow, but your seedlings are looking lush regardless.

    1. Thank you Ciar. I do enjoy creating the photos and am happy when others enjoy them too. And we turned a corner this week. Warmth is pushing early bulbs to bloom finally. Yippee!

  18. Oh I hope that it’s is finally getting warmer in your neck of the woods Donna. Spring has been late arriving here too and some parts of the country face the possibility of snow tomorrow. Not here I’m glad to say but it’s been a cool weekend. Thanks so much for the explanation of how you get your sweet peas off to a good start. I will follow your method next year. I’ve never had such poor germination from March sown sweet peas 🙁 I like your vase of irises. Such exquisite markings.

  19. We had a bit of warm weather and then it got cold again this weekend. And it did snow today….we are warming to summer temps mid week and then I hope it will balance out to normal temps as the forecast is saying.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: