I am always so enthralled by the new, bright green which bursts forth in Spring! The world wakes from a seasonal slumber called Winter to reflect life’s enduring promise – it goes on! Life and all living beings seem so determined to live defiantly regardless the threat of weather, the pests and diseases which plague all living matter, and the risk involved in expending the energy just to do so!
But oh what brilliance there is each new Spring each year when it happens! I drive down the streets and take notice of a shimmer, a glow, a vivid green color which I can only define or proclaim as Spring green. It’s unique, as those same leaves settle and age into a shade less new and brilliant soon after. It’s the color of green which indicates life’s revival for another new year and it’s profoundly beautiful, especially in a desert climate such as where I reside.
Along with the brilliant, bright green, there are amazing shades of flowers, scented and not, bursting forth on many shrubs, trees, and in many beds of annuals and perennials. And the outlying drab desert, normally not so colorful especially by the end of Summer, is now awash with patchwork quilt squares of colorful wildflowers, after a generous Winter rainy season. There is so much color, along with the bright green, that the desert belies itself!
I am not sure everyone notices this bejeweled Spring green as much as I do each and every year. Of course, the flowers in abundance are hard to miss! It’s because of the harsh Summer realities approaching and the struggles I know are ahead for me as a gardener and plant enthusiast, that I perhaps give this annual green phenomenon more attention than other people do! In that intense new green, I see great promise, I see beauty, I see the plants’ determined strength and I see life-sustaining energy expended while it’s possible! Our Summer is like Winter for many plants in other colder climates, a time of rest. Many plant species must slow down and mostly go dormant in colder climates just to survive, and they grow more slowly or not at all just to preserve more essential energy. In our desert extremes, it is much the same! Many plants die during our Summer, from either the extremes of drought, heat or through diseases caused in great part by those stressors during the extreme months. And if they don’t die, they often struggle! A plant requires energy for its respiration and photosynthesis. If it is struggling just to find enough water or to evade intense heat each day, has dropped all it’s leaves or is diseased, all of that makes it almost impossible to sustain life in a desert Summer lasting nearly five months!
Spring green represents all the hopefulness of life which wants to eagerly defy this usually dry climate, the changing seasons ahead, and the speculative nature of rainfall! Shiny new leaves are the enthusiastic bursts at the end of each Winter, which for gardeners like me, represent our desire to beautify in spite of all the hardships, limitations and challenges doing so presents! Gardeners are faith-filled, hopeful, and readily see the beauty even in the imperfections normally found in life! And desert gardeners are better able to “weather” the harsh realities of our hardest season ahead by appreciating the surreal beauty of an ardent Spring!