Deadwood bird sculpture

Samuel Coleridge said:

               All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair,

               The bees are stirring, birds are on the wing,

               And Winter slumbering in the open air,

               Wears on his smiling face a dream of spring!

Galanthus elwesii

Eranthis hyemalis in grasses

Helleborus ‘Josef Lemper’

Each time I leave the house on foot, I inspect the garden beds for signs of spring. Last week, my snowdrops were smiling above the snow. Now the snow has melted and they are still pristine above the leaves that have collected in the beds.This week, the Eranthis (Winter Aconite) brings a smile to my face with its sunny yellow flowers. Hiding under ancient (almost a hundred years old) Pieris is Helleborus HGC ‘Joseph Heller’. Its niger heritage ensures very early bloom and sure enough, the blooms are now open.

I’m starting to hear birdsong and I’ve noticed that the geese are returning. I know that temperatures will supposedly be in the forties and fifties the next few weeks. You may be tempted to venture into the garden to begin cutting down dead stalks but please don’t. One: Walking on wet ground only compacts it and thus lessens its aeration. Two: Winter may be waning but I suspect that it will hit us again this month. Meanwhile insects and birds still need the food that deadheads provide as well as the shelter.

Hardly a day goes by that we aren’t warned about global warming and the damage to the environment. If you are as concerned as I am, I want to share two pieces of information that might interest you.

The first is about Angel Perry, a welcome desk associate at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. She has found a way to utilize single-use plastic bags and would welcome all donations. She crochets them into sleeping mats for inmates and the homeless and also creates re-usable bags with them. Read more about her project and how you can learn to do this at


The second is Spring Fling! Sponsored by The Design Network
with Judy Semroc of The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and Barb Holtz of Ohio Prairie Nursery
Includes lunch provided by The Design Network (

  • Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 9 AM – 2:30 PM
  • Auburn Town Hall
  • 11010 E Washington St, Chagrin Falls, OH 44023-5556

**This event is free for Design Network members. Non member guest fee is $30.00. Secure payment via PayPal; a small convenience fee is included. Visit to register.

Judy Semroc will provide two presentations:

A Dragonfly & Damselfly Primer: This will focus on natural history, importance, and basic identification information of dragonflies and damselflies. Strategies for attracting these beautiful creatures and planning gardenscapes accordingly will be presented.

Important Late Summer & Fall Plantings to Aid Pollinators & Migratory Species: With a great deal of focus being placed on pollinators and their importance in the human ecosystem, this program was created to aid with natural history information, feeding & habitat requirements and planting strategies to assist insects and other migratory species.

Lunch provided by The Design Network

Barb Holtz, of Ohio Prairie Nursery will present:

Nativize Your Property and Nativars vs. Native Plants:
We will learn about the four “P”‘s of seeding native forbs and grasses. Barb will share the best road to sowing success, maintenance, and why natives are a beautiful and sustainable addition to your landscape. We will have a discussion on “Nativars” (cultivars of native plants) regarding their effect on pollinators they serve.

Whether its chilly and raining or warmer and sunny, keep dreaming. Spring is coming.