Nature’s way

The party at Keukenhof (in the Netherlands) was well underway in this photo taken in late March 2007

The party at Keukenhof (in the Netherlands) was underway in this photo from March 2007

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'” Robin Williams

Surely by now, warm spring weather has started to arrive in even the chilliest parts of the northern hemisphere.  Better late than never! What can we do to celebrate springtime this week?   Take a walk, plan a picnic, visit a park.  Make some lemonade, bake some cookies (before it gets too hot to turn on the oven), call friends and invite them for a cookout.  Or just sit outside and bask in the return of warmer weather.  Whatever you do, I wish you joy.  May the springtime weather lift our spirits and bring hope to our hearts!

This post was originally published seven years ago today. By now, you may or may not be allowed to do any of the social activities mentioned above. Of all the things I take for granted, I never imagined being restricted– by law, of all things– from seeing friends in person. How strange the world has become! But we can still find ways to party, as some of the things mentioned above can be done in social isolation.

The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Judy from Pennsylvania

    What a beautiful photograph you’ve provided here to catch my eye and begin my day! Somehow it brings to mind Philippians 4:8. Lately I’ve had to make a conscious effort to focus on good things. Things that uplift the spirit. Springtime flowers do that every time! This morning I’m going to go to an outdoor garden center and get a couple pots of petunias to plant. Are you planting flowers too?

    • Judy, yes I am! Not as many as in past seasons (fewer trips to the flower merchants 🙂 ) but I have planted some azaleas, hydrangeas, miniature roses, some wave petunias, and some Asian lily and hollyhock bulbs. The ferns you gave me have raced ahead of the pachysandra but both are doing well. The ferns look so gorgeous with the stone walls as a backdrop. I’ll have to take some photos to send you. How appropriate that I had commented on the lovely homes built from stones in your area — now the ferns from that same “neck of the woods” have a stone backdrop (however small and partial compared to those in PA) to remind me of your lovely area. I have transplanted some snapdragons that weren’t doing well, and have brought some periwinkle from the York home to transplant around the pergola and at the base of my flowering trees at the northern Virginia home. I dug up a couple of camellia plants that had sprouted around my HUGE (overgrown) camellias at York, and hope to establish them at the NoVa home as well. A similar tiny “volunteer” crape myrtle from York survived the winter and is looking pretty good this year. I have a special fondness for plants that come from somewhere else I love, like my York home or your PA home! You are right, this business of finding the good is a constant challenge, despite the many blessings that surround us. My sister and I have noted that the flowers and plants seem to be doing especially well this year. Since nature always felt to me like a sort of celestial telegram from God to remind us that we are loved, it’s quite appropriate this year that nature sings with such a delightful voice.

      • Judy from Pennsylvania

        Wow, Julia, you’re no casual gardener, you’re a landscape artist! Yes, please do send some photos. Our ferns were doing great until all the high winds of the past two days caused them to be tilted backwards. I hope they recover their shape. Yesterday I planted over a dozen marigolds that I raised from seeds. It’s will be a joy to watch all the vegetables and flowers grow bigger in the coming weeks.

        Love your words, “Since nature always felt to me like a sort of celestial telegram from God to remind us that we are loved, it’s quite appropriate this year that nature sings with such a delightful voice.” I’m going to pass that on in the Contemplative Living group that I’m a part of — they all connect with God through nature too.

        • Judy, I must be making it sound more impressive than it is. I feel like I stumble along with a sort of hit-or-miss approach. Your mention of growing marigolds from seeds reminds me of my very first forays into gardening, when we lived on the central coast of California, in 1990. I remember our minister showed me how you can take the seeds from the pod of the flower after it bloomed, and plant them to create more marigolds. My first attempts were wildly successful so I thought maybe I had found something I was good at, but when we moved away less than four years later, I discovered it was the benevolent central coast climate that was the “secret.” Having said that, I should try planting marigolds again. I love the scent and they are said to keep bugs away. Thanks for passing my words along to your group. I think the Bible underscores the idea that we can know God through nature.

  2. Sheila

    Hi Julia. I would add “Delight someone across the miles with a heartfelt note to let that person know you’re thinking of them!” Oh, how I enjoyed your note earlier this week. Thank you so much. We are doing well, enjoying being outside so much. Our weather has been so delightful here in Garden City. I hope you’re enjoying these Spring days, as well. Hi to Matt. Sweet tea and Verandah thoughts….💛😉

    • Thanks Sheila– I’m glad you enjoyed the card! I hope you are spared any fallout from this storm they say is brewing off the NC coast. We are definitely enjoying the springtime. Matt and I sat out on the deck yesterday and both of us got a touch of sunburn! Wow, it seems a long time since that happened.

  3. mike c.

    Yea yesterday we hiked Lake Zwerner trail out of Dahlonega. I can never say that right. It’s four miles with some major hills. Nice views of the lake. I will be feeling it today.
    Raynard is setting up a virtual “zoom,” chat room. Whatever that is. You interested?
    I watched a video of John Sciezska reading ” The true story of the three little pigs.”
    Pretty funny.
    I imagine you are getting some weather. I think it is fixin to rain here in N.Georgia. You ever get to Ellijay- Rock city or Blueridge. They may be next.

    • Mike, I don’t know if I ever went to Dahlonega, though I know the gold was mined there. I have been to Rock City, as a teenager, and I had expected it to be a tourist trap, but I actually loved it. Haven’t been back since the mid-70’s, though. As for Ellijay, my older brother lives there, but he has cut himself off from the other three siblings since Mama died, so I’ve never been there either. I do know they have wonderful apples. I’ve tasted those and the ones I tasted really were something special.

  4. mike c.

    Are those Freesias? I finally found out after two years what the beautiful bush is that i have been trying to identily. It is Mountain Laurel- “Katmia—-” with little upside down pink umbrella like flowers. I saw four in bloom yesterday. Somehow it is in the heather family- ericacae”

    • I don’t remember for sure, but I think those are Freesias. I TOTALLY love Mountain Laurel shrubs. Jeff and I spent a good bit on having a landscaper install a large one at our York home, but it was dead in only a year or two and never did bloom as beautifully as some I have seen, so I’m afraid to plant another one.

  5. Mike C B.

    Yea those are probably fragile little ones–Mountain laurel. One of the most beautiful “Shrubs” i have seen. Your brother is being a “——” huh? I was estranged from my younger sister for many years- unfortunately.
    How far are you from Norfolk?
    I am trying to grow some basil on the porch, which has a real iffy time in the NOrthwest. I was-by the way- reading about tough times in Hawaii. 34 % unemployment-. They want the tourists to come but are afraid they will being in the virus. Between a rock and a hard place.
    But I miss the beach –so much. Especially Kailua.

    • I’m not too far from Norfolk when I’m at the York home. 30-45 minutes in light traffic, depending on what part of town you’re talking about (Norfolk covers a large geographic area and traffic can be bad). If I was going to grow only one herb and knew I would be successful, I think it would be basil. It’s probably my favorite of them all in terms of flavor and using it in cooking.

      Yes, Hawaii will have a tough time coming back from COVID because they have always been so dependent on tourism. My friend and her husband finally sold their condo on the beach in Oahu last fall. It has been a grief to her knowing she won’t be going back there, but they surely had good timing on when they sold it. Whenever I think it’s hard living between two homes that are two hours apart, I think of how long Peggy kept up two homes (one near the gulf coast of Mississippi and one in Hawaii).

  6. Mike C B

    Yes i think i remember that- they dispel pests- also slugs i believe- about marigolds and we used to plant a border of them around our home garden plot.

    • Somebody just recently offered to give me some marigolds and now I can’t remember who? I hate that about getting older. My long term memory was always much better than my short term, but lately it has gotten totally bad. I need to write everything down but then I would need to remember where I wrote it. 😀

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