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Springtime in the South is always a little edgy, like Springtime everywhere it is a time of wild planning and and Spring fever. Just as you want to jump up and tackle a new project, another will catch your fancy and you’re off on a different course. A hundred things begging to be done and only me to do them. The garden, the flower beds, the pruning, the mulching, the Chicken Condo, all looking for attention. It makes me want to take a nap just thinking about it. A good Spring Cleaning is what the Doctor ordered and exactly what we got. For days moving on into weeks the Metro Atlanta area has been choking under sulfur-yellow clouds of pollen, that by-product of our beautiful flowering trees. We’ve always had an inordinate pride in our tree canopy, in the city itself it is unlawful to cut any tree without permission. We have in North Georgia a wonderful mix of oaks, hickories, sweetgums and the ubiquitous Southern Yellow pine. The stars of the Southern Landscape however, are our Dogwoods and Redbuds, those lovely beings that along with the azaleas and quince brighten our woodlands and roadsides. Pear, peach, plum, apple, blackberry all bursting and exploding with color and joy of living. And pollen, tons of pollen. Clouds, waves, drifts and tsunami of pollen. Everything sporting a bloom is throwing it’s special come-hither fragrance and pheromone to the wind, hoping to entice and seduce the bees and other pollinators to stay and visit for a spell. A little booty-shaking by the bee and the job is done, all set for the year and Mother is pleased. This still leaves the pollen to cling to everything, grass, pets, clothes, vehicles, porches. Porches! When I swept mine the other morning, such clouds rose with each pass of the broom that I went back inside leaving the broom outside. That day the pollen count was 5,733. Our record is right at 6,000. News helicopters flying over the city showed thick clouds of yellow “fog”, barring from view the streets and houses below.
Once again, heart felt prayers were answered, and we got rain. Such a wonderful rain. No hail. No high winds, no tornadoes. Just a sweet soaking rain that swept the sky blue again, the streets and houses clean of yellow dust and the air to crystal purity. This is the sort of Spring morning that makes the little calves kick up their heels, the baby colts frisk about, the Rooster in the pen to prance and preen, taking credit for it all. Like allergy suffers through out the area, I am over-joyed at the feel, the taste and the scent of Spring in the air. The Sparkle of Sunshine on freshly washed new leaves, still decked in their pastel greens and pinks, the glitter of broken light flashing from puddles of rainwater, the riot of birdsong carried on the breeze have me popping with energy this morning. And, Lord knows, there is plenty to do.

Spring has come with a mighty rush to the red clay hills of North Georgia. Last week we were still living with the ragged remains of a seemingly endless Winter, this week we are basking under benevolent Southern Skies. The Crabapples and Plum trees are in full foam and the Dogwoods and Redbuds are not far behind. These are our glorious assurances that the cold time has receded for another year, we may see a few recurrences of frost and even a flurry or two. We’re good with that, the tipping point has been reached, there is no going back. It’s time to take the garden tools from the shed, wheel them to the old, battered Winter garden and stand and gaze. It’s not the weeds rampaging over sunken beds and tired winter crops of collards, kale and turnips we see. But new, freshly made raised beds, neat rows of rich, bright red soil, shining leaves of vigorous, healthy plants and the bright sun striking sparks from the dew-drops that bejewel every bloom. We are looking at the buckets and baskets that overflow with bounty, green beans, juicy red tomatoes, peppers of every size, color and scoville units and those darlings of my heart, fresh baby peas that taste like candy on the tongue. So many never make it to the kitchen as they are consumed on the spot. All of this happens in 15 or 20 minutes, this dreaming of the Garden that is yet to be. It is the Dreaming, the laying out of invisible-to-the-eye plots and beds that really creates the future of the garden. The Dream comes first, it is the outline, the reality follows in due time. Without the Dream it is only a weed covered patch of land. The Dream brings it to life and I am the Dreamer who will help the Master Gardener bring it to fruition.When you truly love, it shows.

December 2021

Sustainable Living in a Disposable World

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Sandi White

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