Our life is March weather, savage and serene in one hour. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Even as I prepare a series of posts about the evolution of the garden, I am drawn into the drama of March weather. This past weekend was gloriously warm and sunny, full of blue skies and singing birds.
The light through last year’s hydrangea blossoms was magical and the colorful sunset above the bare trees inspiring. But soon the wild winds of March blew in from the west, bending and creaking the bare trees. A day later, the snow began to fall, enormous fluffy flakes that coated everything in a magical layer of white. Never mind that the winter had already expressed itself in snow and ice many times, the effect was charming and worthy of a short video.
The snow melted by mid-afternoon, leaving the spring garden tasks visible once again, awaiting my pruner and loppers and shovel. And so March goes, an unpredictable yet compelling time of the year, promising so much for the months to come.
March is the month of expectation, the things we do not know.~ Emily Dickinson
All photos, video and text ©2022 by Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved, except where noted.
I am amazed how well your hydrangea flowers dry and stay on all winter – they really hold up!
Hi Kathy. They do last well all winter and look so beautiful when they catch the light. I don’t cut them back until spring.
I really enjoyed the images and the video (and, not incidentally, the accompanying music), Lynn. Thanks very much for posting it all, and sending us a link so we can all enjoy it.
Thank you, Kerry – it was a fun moment to capture.
Ah, those snowflakes! You arranged them, too, didn’t you? 😉 This contrary aspect of March is one that I think is far more evident in the midwest and east coast than out west. I’m glad you’re willing to roll with the punches, even making welcoming them. Gorgeous images!
I had to run outside to capture those huge snowflakes as soon as I saw them, Lynn – it was an unusually beautiful snowfall. Today it is 54º F, the snow is all gone, but with several inches of snow due later tonight. March weather is always a bit crazy here!
Yes, I know your area has some extremes. More challenges for the gardener! 🙂
So magical to watch snow falling. As our year is beginning to fold into itself and shorten the days, it’s good to hear of Spring’s hope in birdsong and blue skies.
Thank you, Coral – you must be in the Southern Hemisphere. I’ve enjoyed gardens from the southern climes all winter long, now spring is finally arriving here. Every day is longer and brighter and the garden is coming to life.
Thank you for the video. I think I could listen to your music while watching those big, fat snowflakes for hours. So peaceful. ♥
Thank you, Robin – I admit, I spent the better part of the morning on the sofa watching the snow fall for hours.
The quotation of Emily Dickinson truly expresses the spirit of the Springtime.
Elisabetta, I agree. I love your journal, so much to read and appreciate!
Lovely indeed! Fickle weather seems to be the mantra of Mother Nature these days. Your video is fantastic. I wish I knew how to make a video like that. But I have zero editing knowledge and no idea where to even begin.
Thank you Kate. I filmed everything on my little iPhone – I shot the snow in the slow motion app and it turned out so well. Everything was edited in iMovie – easy to use. I love shooting video of the garden, it sometimes captures what photos can’t. So glad you enjoyed it!
The snow looked so peaceful as it fell that it would be hard to get really annoyed with it.
You are so right, tootlepedal – it was hard to get annoyed, the beauty surpassed the gardener’s wish to be working in the garden.
What a lovely video, Lynn… you captured the essence of March very well!
Thank you, Eliza – I love doing videos of the garden, more to come this season 🙂
Looking forward to it!
Beautiful, Lynn, and a perfect summation of the wide-ranging and quickly changing temperatures shifts we’ve been experiencing, too. Rain, wind, snow, and mid-60’s next week following our coming Saturday night of 6 degrees. I’m hesitant to take on much gardening, though I’ll likely sow my first batch of poppy and dianthus seeds next week and pick up what last week’s wind blew in…March has always arrived with a basket of surprises and climate change has certainly made them even more dramatic!
Thank you for your beautiful images and words, Lynn!
Thank you, Kitty – March is always changeable here but the vast extremes seem newer. I have poppy seeds to throw on the snow so apparently I’m not too late this year (my usual January defiance of winter!). We are looking at those wide swings too but there are plenty of shrubs to prune and paths to clear before I step into any garden beds in April. Enjoy your seed sowing – I’m starting snapdragons and nicotianas this week.
Light that transluces is magical indeed.
Your Emerson quotation comes from “Montaigne; or, the Skeptic,” which is the fourth of seven lectures in “Representative Men.” Here’s the beginning of the paragraph containing it:
“There is the power of moods, each setting at nought all but its own tissue of facts and beliefs. There is the power of complexions, obviously modifying the dispositions and sentiments. The beliefs and unbeliefs appear to be structural; and, as soon as each man attains the poise and vivacity which allow the whole machinery to play, he will not need extreme examples, but will rapidly alternate all opinions in his own life. Our life is March weather, savage and serene in one hour.”
Thank you, Steve. I love seeing quotes in their larger context so thank you for contributing that. I ended up reading the entire lecture, my admiration of Emerson renewed. The final few words struck home – “Let a man learn to look for the permanent in the mutable and fleeting; let him learn to bear the disappearance of things he was wont to reverence without losing his reverence; let him learn that he is here, not to work but to be worked upon . . .”
Regarding “let him learn to bear the disappearance of things he was wont to reverence without losing his reverence,” I have to confess I’ve had a hard time maintaining reverence these past few years as more and more of the things I grew up valuing in our country have been succumbing to implacable illiberal assaults. I wish I could maintain Emerson’s equanimity.
I dare say that many agree with you, Steve, regardless of their political or social stance. We are in the midst of deep change in this country and in the world, for better or worse – nature is the one thing that helps me keep my heart and head above the fray and grounded in the needs of the earth. My best guess is that your beautiful photographs of nature’s beauty allow you some maintenance of reverence in spite of the world around us.
Lynn: Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the short video you shared here. I am so tired of snow and cold and gloomy days. And Mother Nature keeps teasing us with spats of sunshine from time to time. Tomorrow may be in the 50’s and come Saturday, there may be another blanket of snow covering the struggling blades of new grass. Ah, well … c’est le vie
Thank you, Gene. T.S. Elliot said that April is the cruelest month but I think most gardeners would say that it is March!