NORTH FLORIDA HAS its version of winter. We don’t see snow, but the temperature will dip into the Thirties occasionally. So as February comes to a close, we can actually begin thinking of Spring, and as everybody knows, Spring is PLANTING SEASON. What a satisfying feeling it is to free a young plant from its captivity in a plastic pot and place it lovingly into the ground where its root system can spread out and it can thrive and grow. Even if your plan for the plant is into a patio pot, at least it is a BIGGER pot, and certainly more attractive. The difficulty comes in deciding what plants to buy. The variety of choices can make one’s head spin. Then you have to factor in WHERE the plant will be, how much sun it will enjoy, and will it be too much? Is your soil alkali or acidic? Or, sometimes, will my hose reach this far? Meanwhile, the plants you put into the ground in recent years are showing signs of rejuvenation. Will my fig tree bear fruit in its third year? And if it does, will the squirrels get more figs than I do? How much will that little tupelo tree add to its height this summer? These are the Spring excitements of an old man, unlike my hot-blooded youth, when I thought about girls and hair.
I do enjoy this season of fresh growth and 'hope'.
However, I would not describe the emotion as 'excitement', so much as 'contentment'. There is something inherently relaxing about planting things, tending seedlings and watching the plants grow day by day. The spring flowers, perenials and trees sprouting into life and splashing a bit of colour on the drab canvas of winter induces that feeling of hope that there might be something 'better' in the weeks ahead. After the graft of planning, cleaning, digging, potting, weeding and composting, there is a air of 'satisfaction' and 'contentment' that we have done as much as we can to enhance the possibility of a productive spring season. All we have to do now is be patient and 'hope' that all will be well.
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