Wakey, Wakey

I awoke this morning, with this children’s nursery rhyme in my head…Wakey, wakey rise and shine. You’ve had your sleep and I’ve had mine. I smiled, remembering the sing-sing chant. And glancing at the sunlight streaming in through the window, it was fitting. This was Wake the Garden Day, a celebratory holiday of my own making. It falls on different dates each year, depending on the weather and the severity of the winter. After a cold February with more than usual rain, snow and ice, Wake the Garden Day landed in March…on March 9, apparently!

Wakey Wakey A Gardening Story

I love this day for several reasons:

Although spring isn’t here yet officially, it’s rapidly approaching. This day of prepping the garden for the return of grasses, flowers and herbs signals that we’ve made it through another winter. The cold temps will soon be behind me and warmer, longer days are approaching. In fact, we switch to daylight savings time this weekend.

It’s great to spend the day in the garden. I leave up dry ornamental grasses and dead flower stalks, to create interest in my backyard paradise. The garden in winter has its own beauty. The brown, gray and tan remnants of last year’s season contrast with the snow or glisten with ice. That means as spring nears, there are many tasks to carry out: cutting back grasses, clearing away dead stalks, dividing plants that have grown too big and general clean up. It’s messy, hard work…and it is so rewarding!

Wakey Wakey A Gardening Story

Wakey Wakey A Gardening Story

Wakey Wakey A Gardening Story

As we worked, I was grateful for bright sunshine, sturdy work gloves, the right tools for the different jobs, and Greg’s assistance. The ornamental grasses were trimmed back and the bigger ones, divided. I left volunteer grasses growing in the garden from last fall. Those were all dug up today and bagged. I have 20 or more plants to give away.

Wakey Wakey A Gardening StoryOrnamental grasses nursery!

Wakey Wakey A Gardening StoryAnd a huge pile of trimmings to burn, on a less windy day.

Wakey Wakey A Gardening Story

I love this day because the results from our work are so immediate. It feels wonderful to clean up the beds and inspect for new growth. And it was evident. As we trimmed and cut away and raked, bright green shoots were uncovered. Tiny leaves are appearing on Russian sage plants and lemon balm and bee balm are pushing through the mulch in little clusters. The garden is stirring and that makes my heart sing.

Wakey Wakey A Gardening Story

Wakey Wakey A Gardening Story

Wakey Wakey A Gardening Story

As I observed the bare ground and tidied beds, after hours of work, I realized what I love most about singing wakey wakey to the garden. It teaches trust and deepens my faith. The straggling, messy remains from last summer are gone. The garden appears to be very empty. But I know, tucked beneath the earth’s surface, the roots of plants are awakening, gathering nutrients and strength, preparing to grow.

Every spring, I witness the miraculous…the return of life, of beauty. No matter how long the winter seems to last, it gives way, with grace, to spring, to rebirth. And where there appears to be nothing…in a couple of months there will be lush growth and riotous color. It’s never the exact same garden, as it shifts year to year, and yet it is always gorgeous.

Wakey Wakey A Gardening StoryLast year’s garden.

Wakey Wakey A Gardening Story

Wakey Wakey A Gardening Story

I am moved every year by the transformation.

I have a few more tasks to complete tomorrow…a lilac bush to trim back and the raised vegetable garden bed to prep. And then I wait and I watch. I’ll walk through the garden daily, softly singing wakey, wakey…and greet each plant, each flower that awakens into life with a joyful smile. Welcome back, my garden.

“Gardening is an active participation in the deepest mysteries of the universe.”

Thomas Berry

Wakey Wakey A Gardening Story

Spring Hygge Ideas

Although spring is still officially a couple of weeks away, it arrived for me yesterday. Already feeling the desire to do a spring cleaning and decluttering, I completely stripped my bed down, laundering everything. As I remade my bed last night, I deliberately left off the woven cotton blanket. That’s all it took to flip my spring switch.

I love this time of year, as the earth and my spirit both experience a reawakening. My creativity shifts into a higher mode as well. I recently shared a post about the hygge lifestyle that I’ve embraced. Hygge, pronounced hue • gah, is a Scandinavian custom that creates well being, connection and warmth. You can read that post HERE. When I think of hygge I think of candlelight and cozy blankets and a crackling fire. But hygge can be practiced and celebrated throughout the year.

I’ll be sharing ways to create a hygge lifestyle during every season. Today’s post celebrates the impending arrival of spring, with 15 ways to keep the cozy going.

Spring Hygge Ideas

1. Bring the outdoors in – Spring announces the earth’s awakening and the return of green plants and colorful flowers. Purchase bouquets of fresh flowers and display them in a white pitcher or your favorite container. Start flower and vegetables seeds indoors, for transferring to the garden, and plant tulip or daffodil bulbs in pots for a splash of spring colors indoors. Try tucking a blooming pansy into a tea cup filled with potting soil.

Spring Hygge Ideas

2. Brighten home décor – It’s time to pack away the darker colors. Freshen the house with lighter colored pillows and rugs, declutter spaces that have accumulated stuff all winter, and take down heavy draperies. Hang white or sheer curtains over the windows. Let the sunshine light in and on mild days, throw open the windows. The breezes that stir through the house cleanse away stale energy and lifts our spirits.

3. Switch out bedding & pjs – While changing home décor, switch out heavier bedding for lightweight cotton sheets, coverlets and quilts. Pile on the pillows. Swap flannel pjs for comfy cotton as well. Hygge is all about cozy layers. Trade heavy throws and blankets for piles of lightweight wraps, shawls and quilts for those evenings when the air is cool and you want to curl up with a good book.

4. Eat outdoors – Spring invites us to venture outside. Enjoy al fresco dining on a patio or porch. Use lots of linens and candles, and serve a healthy meal on your best plates.

Spring Hygge Ideas

5. Read a book outside – Stretch out on a reclining lawn chair or a colorful quilt on the ground and lose yourself in a book. Try a new author or select a book on a topic you’ve always been curious about.

6. Bake something – Hygge encourages nurturing ourselves with good food. Try out a new recipe. Bake from scratch. Create your own recipe. I’m excited to try recipes from my new Thrive magazine.

7. Go for a walk outdoors – Explore new walking trails, look for signs of spring, breathe in the cool air, go for a bike ride.

Spring Hygge Ideas

8. Create a fairy garden – Use a new or vintage container and create a miniature garden, complete with tiny accessories. Home garden stores and craft stores sell items for fairy gardens. And many plant shops offer classes on how to create your own small garden. I will be creating my first fairy garden in a vintage wheelbarrow this spring.

9. Play in the rain – With spring comes refreshing showers to help the earth awaken and growing plants to thrive. Grab an umbrella and enjoy the rain. Splash in puddles, tip your face to the sky, and if it is warm enough, forget the umbrella and experience dancing in the rain.

10. Continue using candles and essential oils – Candlelight isn’t just for the winter months. Use tea lights and white candles everywhere…indoors and on porches, patios and in the garden. Switch to lightly fragranced essential oils, such as lemon and lavender in the diffuser. Hang tiny white twinkling lights outdoors.

Spring Hygge Ideas

11. Do good deeds – Hygge promotes relationships and community and helping others. Volunteer. Practice acts of kindness. Remember to nurture yourself too.

12. Have a picnic at the park – This is another excellent way to enjoy being outside again after the cold short days of winter. Invite friends, throw down a big tablecloth and have everyone contribute to a smorgasbord type picnic. Or enjoy a solo picnic with your favorite foods. This is one of my Artist Date ideas that I look forward to carrying out.

13. Find a new favorite beverage – Winter hygge encourages hot drinks such as coffee, teas and cocoa. For spring try lighter drinks such as herbal teas, freshly pressed juices, flavored waters, and iced coffee. Brew mint tea, let it cool and serve over ice.

Spring Hygge Ideas

14. Keep fresh fruits & veggies on hand – A wide assortment of fruits and vegetables are coming into season. Keep a fruit bowl full of your favorites and try something new. Keep a veggie box or crate full as well. Try meatless dinners, using produce that is in season.

15. Celebrate – Find reasons to rejoice as everything around us stirs. Have brunch with friends, take a family member to dinner, welcome spring with a tea party for one…yourself. Whatever makes your heart sing, go and do that, in a celebratory way.

I hope some of these ideas got your creativity going. Spring is a time of rebirth, of new beginnings, and a promise that life continues. I will be embracing hygge and spring with a Seven Day Hygge Challenge, beginning Monday. Follow the posts and play along, or create your own cozy, comforting traditions. You can’t do hygge wrong if your celebrations create a sense of joy and warmth. May we open our hearts and our homes, and welcome spring.

Spring Hygge Ideas