“Whispers Of The Garden”

“And when wind and winter harden All the loveless land, It will whisper of the garden, You will understand.” ~ Oscar Wilde

harald-bayler: “Frühling ”

Good morning, sweet souls.  On these cold winter days, do you walk about your garden checking to see what may be bursting through the soil?  If so, do you ever hear faint whispers?  If not, perhaps you are not listening, because I can assure you the gardens are whispering. 

Now do understand, I have not gone completely around the bend, or at least I don’t think I have.  But sometimes, my garden even shouts at me, almost like an unruly child.  Just the other day, I was noticing some of my peonies are beginning to poke their pink aspargus-like shoots, upward through the soil.  When I turned to cover them with a bit of fine mulch, I heard “You should not be concerned about me.  Have you seen your crazy ‘trumpet girls’ (daffodils) over in your secret garden? They are up and have blooms set on them, we have begun to question their mental status.  They are so boisterous and are disrupting my sleep.  I do wish you would get them under control.”  It appears peonies have heard the term, “Queen of The Garden,” so often they believe it.



“Snowdrops: Theirs is a fragile but hardy celebration…in the very teeth of winter.” ~ Louise Beebe Wilder 

My plants not only whisper to me, but they also whisper to each other. Often, their whispers can sound rather snobbish.  Take the snowdrop for example, “Look at us, we are up and blooming in the snow. We are gutsy and unlike those trumpet girls, the snow does not burn our blooms.  And, te-hee, te-hee, it will be months before  the Queen’s bloom.”  

But their whispers will turn to screams
when ~ “Mr. Bugs” appears.
Many believe the snowdrop originated in the British Isles.  But it did not.  Galanthus (biological name) comes from mainland Europe. And did you know folklore insists that one should beware of bringing Snowdrops into the home before Valentine’s Day?  The reason being, it is possible that any unmarried females could remain spinsters.
For a tiny little plant with small blooms, snowdrops symbolize several incredibly important matters, such as ~ hope, new beginnings, purity and consolation.
Cicely Mary Barker describes them beautifully in her poem, The Song of the Snowdrop Fairy.  Barker also does a lovely illustration of what she perceives as the Snowdrop Fairy (see note at the end of this post).
The Song of the Snowdrop Fairy, by Cicely Mary Barker

Deep sleeps the Winter, Cold, wet and grey; Surely all the world is dead; Spring is far away.

Wait! the world shall waken; It is not dead, for lo, The Fair Maids of February

Stand in the snow!

thefavoriteartilike: “ The Snowdrop Fairy by Cicely Mary Barker ”
 Cecily Mary Barker’s illustration of The Snowdrop Fairy ~ notice the bottom of her dress.
“A single crocus blossom ought to be enough to convince our heart that springtime, no matter how predictable, is somehow a gift,
gratuitous, gratis, a grace.” ~ David Steindl-Rast

mistymorrning: “http://imgfave.com ”

“First a howling blizzard woke us, Then the rain came down to soak us, And now before the eye can focus Crocus.” ~ Lilja Rogers
yellow 'Crocus' in the woods, near Rose cottages and gardens, Britain
Often, one can hear the crocus and the snowdrops whispering, as they are in competition with each other.  In a soft whisper, they debate, who will bloom first?
Have you ever been in the garden and thought you heard a cat crying, but you couldn’t find or see her?  No doubt it was a pussy willow about to bud.  You see, according to an old legend, a mother cat was crying at the river bank where her kittens were drowning.  The willows at the river’s edge wanted to help, so they swept their long branches into the waters to rescue the kittens who had fallen into the river while chasing butterflies. The kittens gripped the branches and were safely brought to shore.
According to the legend, since that day, every spring the willow branches sprout tiny fur-like buds at their tips where the kittens once clung.

“The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks. ~ Tennessee Williams

violets are the best smelling, most beautiful flowers...I would rather have a bouquet of violets than roses, and I love roses.

Many gardeners are not fans of wildflowers.  For me, it is a question of the particular wildflower.  Every now and again, nature blesses the garden of the gardener with a special gift.  Such as wild violets.  Wild violets are abundant in these West Virginia hills and last spring they graced our garden. 

These dear little plants do more than whisper to me, as I remember going with my mom to gather wild violets on many a cold spring morning.  I had to be careful where I walked, as you didn’t want to step on one.    The reason we gathered these precious flowers was not for the reason you may think.  We gathered them because mom made violet jelly.  A delicious treat on toast or biscuits.  

haunted by the smell of violets...they are mysterious to me

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” ~ Mark Twain

“Or columbines, in purple dressed Nod o’er the ground bird’s hidden nest.” ~ William Cullen Bryant

In closing, I also hear whispers from plants that once resided in our garden.  One is the lovely columbine.  Don’t ask me why she no longer lives in our garden.  I don’t really have an answer.  But I can tell you I miss her and will have her again, come spring.  Columbines have a lovely nodding bloom and come in a variety of colors.  The pink, yellow and blue are my favorites.  When the three are grouped together they make a stunning planting.  Such pretty girls.

“The columbine … is a graceful slender creature, a female seeking retirement, and growing freest and most graceful where it is most alone. I observed that the more shaded plants were always the tallest.” ~ Dorothy Wordsworth


Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your visit this morning.  

Have a beautiful day


 As you stroll through your garden, listen closely ~ “you will understand.”


A sweet whisper of spring.

“Welcome, welcome, little stranger, Fear no harm, and fear no danger; We are glad to see you here, For you sing “Sweet Spring is near.” ~ Louisa May Alcott






Images: vis tumblr and Pinterest

Note:  Cicely Mary Barker, 1895-1973 was an English writer and  illustrator, known for a series of fantasy illustrations depicting fairies and flowers. Barker’s art education began as a young girl with correspondence courses and instruction at the Croydon School of Art. Her earliest work included greeting cards and juvenile magazine illustrations, and her first book, Flower Fairies of the Spring, was published in 1923. Similar books were published in following years.









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14 Comments on "“Whispers Of The Garden”"

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Pam Richardson

Sandra, this is such a lovely post on a frosty, but sunny morning. I just stepped outside to take a photo of my sleeping garden with the fog surrounding it and I may have heard a whisper or two. Your images, poems, quotes and personal sentiments delight my heart and you bring such joy and beauty in the blogging world. Thank you dear one for generously sharing ❤️ wishing you a delightful Thursday!


The short answer to your original question at the top is “I wish!” Alas, I can’t talk to the shoots barely making their way through the ground in January. Or February. I can’t even see the ground, for the most part! But oh, how I love every word of this post. I didn’t know the pussy willow story. That’s so sweet and sad. And I have never seen snowdrops till these photos (and one, maybe by you) on FB. They are so lovely. I’m longing for my crazy trumpet girls, though. It won’t go on forever.

Penny Carlson

What a wonderful post. Now I need to listen more closely when I walk in my garden! My hyacinths are already poking their heads through the mulch!

maria dolores velasco vidal
Amiga querida: Entrar en tu blog…así nada más entrar…se recibe una brisa de felicidad que llena el alma. Tienes el don de la palabra, de esa palabra que nos llena de felicidad por el humor que posees y que con tanta gracia escribes. Es delicioso el rato en que se está leyendo porque, además de lo simpático es también educativo…se aprende mucho, querida Sandra. He reído, he aprendido, me he emocionado…no se…muchas sensaciones positivas porque tú eres positiva y naturalmente tu palabra lo es. Agradecer el haberte encontrado gracias a mi muy querida Pam y llegar a leer tus comentarios.… Read more »
Rita C at Panoply

I so often read your posts while having breakfast or morning coffee, that I fail to make my comment at that point in time. This post is all about my favorite winter moments. While out walking, I always look for those early signs, whispers! I have seen daffs peeking through the ground, but no crocus blooms yet. I also love seeing swarms of robins gather on grassy medians, in trees sometime in February, but have seen them already in mid-Jan! Of course, I used to walk my garden and search for the signs as well. It’s the little things…..

Brenda @ It\'s A Beautiful Life

Thank you for all the sightings of Spring in your lovely post today, Sandra. They certainly whisper of things to come.

I must admit, however, there is nothing whispering just yet in our garden, everything is still frozen solid. But you may have seen on Facebook, our potted tulips waiting in our garage for Spring are beginning to send up the odd green shoot.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend.
Brenda xox

bonnie morgan

Beautiful as always. The legend of the pussy willow was interesting.The poem and image of The Snowdrop Fairy is so sweet. I look forward to my snow drops blooming. It won’t be long.
I think swans are beautiful. They are so interesting and you piqued my interest in them. Upon googling swans I learned so many things I did not know.
Thank you for the beauty you share. It always warms my heart.
I have daffodils blooming
and the narcissus have already finished blooming.