Fits and starts

“fits and starts” – with irregular movement; with much stopping and starting” ~ The Free Dictionary

Spring is dancing with one step forward and two steps back, a tango of fits and starts. T-shirt and sandals one week, winter coat and boots the next.  The week before our spring break from school, the days were mild and I hoped to spend the break in the garden.

It is the first mild day of March:
Each minute sweeter than before…
There is a blessing in the air,
Which seems a sense of joy to yield
To the bare trees, and mountains bare, ~William Wordsworth


Alas, my week in the garden was short circuited by cold rainy days and a few snowstorms, yet the flowers bloomed on.


Once school restarted, the weather warmed up again but only on the week days! Soon another winter storm came roaring through and left 6” of snow over the garden, captured in the video below.

While I was dismayed by the weather, Angel and our guest poodle Charlie Brown had a grand time playing in the snow, making me laugh at their antics.


The snow has not yet left the earth, but spring is already asking to enter your heart.  ~Chekhov

On this last day of March, the sun is shining and the air is warming; it is a good day to work in the garden. The snow has finally melted away into the ground, fixing nitrogen into the soil and promising a wonderful garden season to come. Each day, something new blooms or shows promise of growth. The Cornus mas (Cornelian cherry) is a mass of tiny yellow blossoms and small yellow daffodils are coming into flower.


As we move into April, I look forward to seeing the garden come alive. Wherever you are, I hope you treasure and enjoy the beginning of spring as the earth comes to life.

In March, winter is holding back and spring is pulling forward. Something holds and something pulls inside of us too. ~Jean Hersey

All photos and text (except where noted) ©2018 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved.

26 thoughts on “Fits and starts

  1. Ah, there your posts are! I had missed your musings and photos of your garden. Enjoyed the snippet of song. Love the dogs romping (am thinking of getting a small poodle one day) in the snowy beauty. No snow here in the NW–spring is well and blooming although we still get chilly rains nearly every day. Look forward to seeing more blooms.

    • It is good to be back at the blog, Cynthia. We’ve had two more big snowfalls since I posted this – a very weird April! Today was wonderfully warm and I finally spent some time in the garden. I hope you get a poodle – they are amazing dogs, sweet and intelligent and very easy to live with. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I admire your restraint in the complaint department, Lynn! 🙂 You’ve had quite a winter and spring, no? And what a trickster March was! But now maybe the snow is over, and in any case, the growth is more solid every day. We’re several weeks ahead of you, even though I’m sure we must be north of you. The crocus is a memory, the daffs are gone pretty much, and the parade continues! How I love it! Thank you for this gentle garden interlude, and Happy Spring to you!

    • Ah Lynn, I had to restrain myself but really, it was the joy of the dogs that reminded to relax and enjoy what comes. We’ve had a heavy snowfall since this post but flowers continue to emerge and bloom regardless. I’ve switched to planting seeds indoors, a different way of contributing to the garden.

      Wow, you are really ahead of us in the PNW! The daffodils are just getting started here, with more to come. I have a feeling that all the spring bloom will be crammed into April and early May this year. Happy spring to you too, my friend!

  3. Dogs are amazing in that they are able to feel as happy to play in the April snows are they were to play in the November snow. Not me
    We are still covered in snow, temperatures only to reach about 30 all this next spring break week.
    Dreams of a garden are beginning to form. I have some time.

  4. I love the way you seamlessly flit from music and dance to literature and nature. As we flit from spring to winter and back again! Lovely words and images. A life-affirming post.

    • Ali, thank you for your kind words. I’ve been unhappy about the delayed spring but when I write a post, it seems to put it all in perspective and I realize how beautiful every moment in the garden truly is. Thank you for stopping by.

  5. It’s been mostly cold here–10+ degrees below average most days–for a solid six weeks now, with no end to the cold weather in sight. Not many signs of blooms. I’m trying to look on the bright side–if there’s no early bloom, there’s no chance of it being killed off by a late frost.

    • Kerry, you are right in looking on the bright side; the freeze/thaw syndrome that is common here can be fatal to plants. The warm breaks here brought some growth on here in the garden that was then blackened by the swift drop in temperatures – most of the plants survived but were badly damaged. I hope you get warm temps soon; winter doesn’t seem to want to leave!

  6. Still cold here tonight and in the coming week, but pussy willows have puffed out beautifully, buds are everywhere, and spots of green are poking up from the earth…it’s coming.

    Blessings on your spring, Lynn! I love your music and the snowfall video, and how happy I am to see the delight and joy Angel and Charlie shared in the garden! Spring blooms or snow-covered, it’s always a wonderful bit of heaven. Thank you for sharing!

    • Kitty, I hope spring comes quickly for you! This has been such a strange winter, alternating between heat waves and ferocious snowstorms. Yes, the dogs reminded me of how much fun snow can be 🙂 Enjoy your garden as it begins to awaken, and happy Easter to you.

  7. Fits and starts describes this year’s spring well. Your garden is beautiful in all seasons, but I really love seeing all the spring flowers after the dullness of late winter.

    • Robin, I agree wholeheartedly! My eyes search out the bits of color – what they lack in quantity and size they make up for in intense spots of color. Here comes spring! Hope your world is agreeing up.

      • I think we’re a bit ahead of you, but it looks like we might see more of winter next week. The forecast makes it look a lot like the forecast for the nor’easters — 4 of them! — we’ve had this year. Not sure what to make of that.

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