The sky was a soft blue, the winds gentle and the temperatures warm. The trees and shrubs around the yard had that soft green tinge that promises renewed life. The fragrance from my hyacinths perfumed the air as I walked past them.

I tried to resist, reminding myself that I had writing deadlines looming, laundry piling up, floors that needed mopping and other responsible grown-up things demanding my attention.

But the day was calling to me to set aside my ever-growing to-do lists and play in my gardens.

The call of spring won.

I changed into my favorite gardening clothes, grabbed my wide-brimmed hat, gardening gloves and tools and headed outside.

I pruned my rose bushes first, which is always an emotionally challenging task for me. There they are, minding their own business, sprouting clusters of young red leaves, and I have to prune them. Not just cut away the dead wood and unhealthy growth, but I have to cut the entire bush back by a third, remove healthy branches in order to shape the rose bush and open it up. I continually remind myself that I am doing this for the health of the plant, to allow more airflow throughout the bush, which reduces the opportunities for diseases to develop; that pruning causes the rose to send energy and nutrients to the spots wounded from pruning,  developing healthy new growth.

I spent time transplanting flowers and bushes. Some needed a new location, one that had better light in soil that had been enriched
specifically for the plant. Other plants were ready to divide. Some plants had been adopted from a friend’s garden. While the temperatures were still too cool to plant many things, I scattered a bunch of lettuce seeds in containers near my back porch.  I knew that all these transplants would need special care until they were settled into their new spot and showed signs of new growth.

I weeded some of my gardens. Weeding is one of my least favorite things to do in a garden, but it is necessary. Some weeds were easy to pull, while others required digging down deep to get all of the roots. My strawberry bed was so overgrown that I lifted all the plants, killed the weeds, tilled in compost and then replanted the strawberries.

Throughout the years I have gardened, I have learned life lessons amid the dirt; lessons that made me take a new look at the challenges and trials I am facing. To look beyond the pain and frustrations to see them as opportunities to trust the Master Gardener’s hand as He gently prunes, transplants, weeds and cares for me.