It Might As Well Be Spring


What’s up with Mother Nature?  Has she forgotten to look at the calendar?  It’s January, and she should be full of bitterness and coldness and frigid wickedness.  Instead, it seems Mother Nature is having a bit of hot flash, teasing us with a taste of a spring fling.

That’s why I’m more inclined to envision Mother Nature as Scarlett O’Hara, flitting and flirting her way through the folks at a Twelve Oaks barbecue, while I am one of the admiring suitors gathered around her.  My heart beats with every flutter of her eyelashes.  My pulse races with each giggle of her southern feminine charm.  The temptation is overwhelming.  I so badly want to reach out and grab my rake to clean out the flower beds, to let my fingers sift through the soil, to plant seeds and to nurture them to full growth — and I want to do all of this without the protection of work gloves.  I am hungry to be in the garden.

And then I snap out of my delusion for fear that I am becoming Charles Hamilton, the gentleman who was ensnared by Scarlett’s promise of, well, promise — so much so that he proposed to her and she accepted, although her heart truly belonged to Ashley Wilkes.  (Frankly, my dear, I never understood that — all those years pining for Ashley when you had Rhett.  Seriously?)

The truth is, Mother Nature, like Scarlett, is not going to keep up this charade.  She’ll get a better offer in some other part of the world, exclaim a few “fiddle-dee-dees,” and be gone with the wind, the breeze from her crinolined skirts ushering in a deep-freeze blast of winter.  Her departing giggle will be a constant reminder at how close I came to caving in to spring fever.

For now, I keep humming the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic show tune “It Might As Well Be Spring.”  The lyrics (I tend to hear Rosemary Clooney) go like this:

“I’m as restless as a willow in a windstorm; I’m as jumpy as a puppet on a string.

I’d say that I had spring fever, but I know it isn’t spring.

I am starry eyed and vaguely discontented, like a nightingale without a song to sing.

Oh why should I have spring fever, when it isn’t even spring?

I keep wishing I was somewhere else, walking down a strange new street,

Hearing words that I have never heard from a man I’ve yet to meet.

I’m as busy as a spider spinning daydreams, I’m as giddy as a baby on a swing.

I haven’t seen a crocus. . .”

Huh?  But I have seen a crocus.  In fact, I’ve seen a couple.  They may not have flowers, but their grass-like leaves have emerged just outside of the dining room window.  And there are a few other hints of green sprinkled about. 

Curses, Mother Nature!  You are continuing to toy with my emotions, to try and lead me down the wrong garden path and make me do gardening things that I have no business doing at this time of year.  But I will have to be strong and think of those gardening things tomorrow.  “Afterall,” as Scarlett O’Hara realized, “tomorrow is another day.”

28 thoughts on “It Might As Well Be Spring

  1. Well written, my dear! Curses is right…my back was killing me after planting daffodil bulbs this past fall and now they are poking their little heads up WAY too soon. Only the green is showing, so I hope they will still bloom in the spring.

    • Michele — blooming beauty is not without its price. By the way, I think as the temps drop, the bulbs slow down. With some warmer weather, they start up again. Good luck with them.

  2. I love this posting. LOL! I hope we will not have to pay for this fab weather later Kevin. My garden is completely confused about the warmer winter.

  3. Oh I feel your pain…we’re having a bizarre winter season too. This time last year, the temperature outside stayed well below freezing for almost a month, everything frozen, the central heating on full blast! It’s been unseasonally mild about 10 – 11degrees cel’, I went out to look for something to snip, tidy or rake…but resisted & filled up the birdfood containers instead. I must resist, I must resist..but I’m going stir crazy I tell yer…Stir Crazy!! 🙂

  4. Excellent post!! Clever analogy 🙂 I have been doing some transplanting and some cool-season veggie planting, but I’m chomping at the bit to do more pruning, which must wait till the real spring comes forward. Until then, I just keep saying to myself … Step away from the Felcos!

  5. Kevin, I am tempted to say it might as well rain until September but no I’m not going to as we get plenty rain over here. We are also sharing the mild weather with you, helluva winds though. What’s wrong with you all, if its Spring like do a bit of tidying up in the garden, the difference it makes is amazing.

    • If anyone else is like me, I do little bit of cleaning — but the bigger projects will wait until spring. No turning the soil or moving mulch away from perennials just yet — only picking up some branches and leaves. It’s actually been rather dry here, and the temps are all over the place. It was about 16 degrees F earlier in the week, and then near 60 degrees F over the weekend. Cheers!

  6. Well, I hate to admit it, but I fell to her charms. I started pruning my roses – a month earlier than the traditional time. I’m certain I’ll get burned, stung, my heart pulled out, when a cold front finally comes through. But until then, I’m singing away, having a blast with Mother Nature right now.

  7. Kevin, I have seen a crocus too, in fact, I have see three, in full flower, in my garden here in London 🙂 There are around 297 more to go, but they are all more or less above ground and if we don’t get any frost they will all flower in matter of weeks!
    Loved your post by the way 🙂

    • Don’t even put that in the universe! 🙂 Although I’m not a fan of cold weather, some snow would be nice, if only to provide a nice slow watering as it melts and seeps into the ground.

  8. You expressed my thoughts exactly, sort of! Today I was feeling the warm air and watching daffodils grow, but I’m telling you, there’s a hard frost coming! It’s too soon for all this plant activity.

  9. We’ve had a few days recently that felt more like spring than winter and boy, I can sympathize with wanting to get out and start digging. Amazing how quickly spring fever set in despite the fact that we’ve barely started winter.

  10. Love the analogy to one of cinema’s finest women!
    My crocus foliage comes up every October…I thought they all did?
    We had 57* this afternoon, but are now under a Winter Storm Warning.
    It was wonderful, while it lasted.

  11. Kevin, you have this amazing ability to introduce films into your gardening blog! What woman
    would want wishy-washy Ashley Wilkes when she could have Rhett Butler! I could never understand why any woman would fancy Leslie Howard when there was his much sexier cousin Trevor Howard (Brief Encounter) available?
    Why I am talking films when I should be talking about gardens….
    Lovely post!

    • Janet, thank you so much. The Ashley/Rhett issue is probably one of the greatest mysteries of cinema. Even “Rosebud” from Citizen Kane isn’t that much of a mystery. Be well — and happy movie watching.

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