Blossom by blossom

Blossom by blossom the spring begins. ~ Algernon Charles Swinburne

While you read and look, I invite you to listen to Craig B. Dobbins’ Appalachian Lullaby recorded by my husband Bill Purse for an upcoming album.

This was a year when winter seemed longer and gloomier than usual. The soft browns and grays of the garden were lovely in their own quiet way but I longed for color, for signs of new life. foggygarden

The sky obliged with  color. MarchSunrise

And then the first signs of new life emerged. Along with the Tommy crocus and snow drops, the hellebores began blooming in pink and white and deep purple while the wine red stalks of peonies rose up from the ground. (Click on any photo in the mosaic to see a larger image)


For the first time in years, the forsythia bloomed profusely followed by the daffodils and mid-spring bulbs.


Gray clouds carrying rain became more welcome as they hurried along the greening of the woods and garden.

Spring drew on…and a greenness grew over those brown beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.  ~Charlotte Brontë


Along with the rain and green growth came the weeds. My niece Madison showed up to help me sort out the garden beds; what a pleasant talk we had in the spring sunshine. madison

As the rain and sunshine dance through the garden, it has exploded with color and scent. The shrubs and trees are blooming while a few tulips and daffodils linger.


Each morning, the intoxicating scent of lilies of the valley greet me as I step out my front door; the wild violets tucked in among them only increase their charm.


Now the garden is full to overflowing with lush textures and colors. Yesterday I heard the wood thrush singing and a pair of robins are nesting nearby where I can sometimes catch a glimpse of a tiny blue egg.


Angel and I walk the paths through the garden each day, reveling in every new blossom and scent.


To understand the journey you have to do the walking. ~Bryant McGill


Thank you for accompanying me on this journey around the garden and through the season. May you enjoy a spring rich with color and life.

To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~John Burroughs

All images and text ©2019 by Lynn Emberg Purse except as noted.

36 thoughts on “Blossom by blossom

  1. Those first two images stopped me in my tracks. Stunning … and so different. After the stroll through the garden, the path of the last image takes me back to the first two. 🙂

  2. Oh my…. don’t know why I didn’t see this until now! Absolutely gorgeous! And that lovely guitar music was the perfect accompaniment! I feel so at peace and ready to start my day! Many thanks!! ❤️❤️❤️

    • Thank you for the kind words, Gina – glad to know my garden inspired a peaceful morning for you 🙂 I imagine that your garden is bursting into beauty now too – all of this rain has brought out some lush growth, especially in the drier woodland areas.

  3. What a lovely lullaby.

    Your mention of lily of the valley reminds me that my mother used to have some planted in the shade behind our house.

    Though I’ve read Jane Eyre I didn’t remember the passage you quoted, which I found is from the early part of the novel.

    • Lily of the valley was a common plant on the north side of a house back in the day; my aunt had them the entire length of the house and I loved to visit when they were in bloom. I always think of the verse “lilies of the valley line my garden walk” from a song I learned in Girl Scouts – “White Coral Bells”. In fact, I had a young girl visit my old garden who, when she saw both flowers from the song blooming in my garden, burst out into the song – quite a lovely memory.

      Thanks for stopping by, Steve!

  4. Your garden is, as always, so beautiful. Like Margy, I could happily live in a guest house at the edge of it.
    Our forsythia were covered in blossoms this year, too. It’s the first time I’ve seen that many on them. I keep thinking the lushness of the flowers this year are a message of some kind that I’ve yet to interpret. Maybe it’s just to stop and enjoy. 🙂

    • Robin, so glad you stopped by. The message? Hmmm, I’ve been thinking of this and guess that this is a “fat” year of biblical proportions – let’s hope the lean years are far in the future. In these strange times, I take one day at a time and do my best to appreciate every minute of it. This is a year of grace 🙂

  5. I’d like to build a little guest house on the edge of your garden! I could live there very happily!
    Spring is late here in Alberta too. My forsythia has just started to bloom, but so far it isn’t very profuse. There are a few dandelions too…

    • Margy, if you’re into digging dandelions I might consider that guest house 🙂 We had a late spring as well but it seemed better for the plants instead of a heat wave in March and then a deep freeze that destroyed the early blossoms. We’ve had profuse rain here for days on end but it makes the garden green and happy. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Winter seemed unwilling to let go this year, but your garden is looking wonderful right now. I’m determined to get more of those Poet’s Daffodils, with the small cups rimmed in red.

    • We had some winter in April, Jason, but now it seems we are firmly in spring – I hope it settles down for you. Love the poet daffodils – reliable bloomers that make a late show just when it seems that the spring bulb season is done. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Lynn, I loved meeting you last night and especially loved finding your blog! Thank you for sharing your garden and music. I will look for more.

  8. Well chosen music to go so well with your lovely garden. Thank you to Bill. Glad to see you had some help in the garden. I too, love Tulip Irene with its two tones and the Charlotte Bronte quote. Thank you for this.

  9. You have such lovely woodland textures. Your garden looks like such a peaceful haven. I enjoyed your quotations too.

  10. What a truly delightful spring garden. Saving the best photo till last! Love to see wild violets and is that sweet woodruff behind the iris?

      • I have it in my ‘woodland border’ but in the first year of living here I mistook it for cleavers and probably removed most of it! Fortunately it has grown back and is just about to start flowering.

      • It’s a wonderful plant – grows and flowers under our pines where nothing else will. I remember drinking May wine in Australia made with sweet woodruff but I just let it flower here 🙂

  11. Glorious and enchanting, as always, Lynn; thank you. Bill’s music was perfect and heavenly. So good, too, to see sweet Angel and your darling niece!

    The colors, and layers, and textures are all so lovely; my favorite shot, though, is the last, of the magical steps leading up, retreat ended and leaving with a hushed and merry heart. I needed that, or I’d linger all day in the beauty and forget everything else. 🙂

    • Kitty, you are always so observant. I saved that shot for last – I was transfixed by the lushness of the steps even as I was photographing it. It felt very archetypal to me as well. I will tell Bill that you enjoyed the music; he insisted on recording it for this post so that I could share it with my readers 🙂

      I hope you are well, thank you for stopping by and staying in touch.

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