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"Possibilities of a new season..."

Updated: Feb 28, 2022

Just as the urge to gather pinecones and sip hot chocolate comes over me each autumn, an overwhelming compulsion to get my hands dirty descends on me at each year around this time. More than ever, this year. I must wallow in the earth. In the earth of my garden, my raised beds, and my eclectic collection of flowerpots.

Understanding that my manicure will be decimated and there will be the need to hide my hands and my mucked-up fingernails under the table, I need to till the soil.

As a beginning, I open the tool chest which houses my garden implements. An assortment of trimmers, spades, scissors, pruners, a cultivator, bonsai shears, stakes, and a broken screwdriver. A rumpled pair of garden gloves, a hole in each of three fingers, is crunched into the corner. A roll of mylar tape which did not keep the birds from my tomatoes last season unfurls in another corner. A plastic jar of Root Boost, lid off and empty, lies in between.

After emptying the contents of the art-supply-box-turned-garden-tool-chest, I clean each tool readying them for duty. Gardening duties.

A quick trip to neighborhood Mission Hills Nursery and I return with two bags of cactus and succulent soil mixture and a bag of Burpee premium organic potting mix. Plus, a new supply of Miracle-Gro all-purpose plant food and a new jar of Root Boost.

I am ready. Ready to toss the winter’s wilted hangings. Get rid of the shriveling non-starts. Line up overgrown potted assemblages that need to be divided and repotted. Snip starts from existing favorite plants to make new plants. Pull out anything dead or sickly looking.

Time to freshen up the garden with a face lift.

What is it about this time of year—even with the winter chill—that morphs me into a mad horticulturist? What turns me on about strolling through the palms and the bougainvillea and the unusual assortment of cacti? Greenery. Flowers. Blossoms. Thorns. Buds. And Lady Bugs.

I want one of everything.

Time for a new nozzle. A new watering can. A new garden hat.

Tilling the soil with my hands is different this year. After all this unsettled time, there is a grounding for me as my fingers furrow through the terra firma. Instead of blowing in the wind of uncertainty of the past several seasons, I feel down-to-earth.

It’s time to mix it up in the mud.


“It was such a pleasure to sink one's hands into the warm earth, to feel at one's fingertips the possibilities of the new season.”

Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden


That was wonderful Marilyn You are a real artist as well as a real gardener. Where do you get your energy. I see you had your potential prince helping you. I am so proud to know you. Love Jan

Brrrrr! We are so FRICKING COLD here there is no way we can think of following your lead! LOL!! My crepe mortal in the front yard is just one thing frozen solid. More freezing rain in the forecast today. You better believe I am staying INSIDE and WARM. Need to keep working on gathering for my taxes, so plan to stay busy. Sharon in Dallas

Yep, I'm having the same urges. DI

Yes, yes

and the excitement of anything coming back;

- buds,


and Monarchs!

Mission Hills Horticulture Garden tour tickets go on sale 03/15!


Oh how I felt every one of your words (though I must admit that I almost have my nails dirty year round). Thank you RS

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