Return of the Gardener

The gardener returned to the garden today from his voyage across Tennessee.  From his home, to the lands of the cedar glades, and to the western lowlands he crossed the miles in only trio of days.  Friends from long ago were coming to visit from the northern winterlands and he had to return in time to see to their hospitality.  Today the gardener returned to the garden. 

The gardener entered cautiously into the boggy soil paying careful attention to the shifting ground still soaked from frequent rains.  He observed the changes brought about by moisture and freezes, the unseasonably warm temperatures and the snowfall.  The hardy verbenas were turned to mush, a casualty of the hidden sun and weeping rain.  The ravenous rabbits gorged themselves upon the evergreen chutes of the liriope while the gardener was away.  Leaves layered for mulch shifted and traveled, not far, but far enough to appear unkempt and unruly. The ravages of winter were present but so too were the signs of an emergence of spring still months away.  Cool season weeds were emerging from their slumber.  Wild onions, henbit, and chickweed were continuing their assault on the garden.  The gardener chose not to engage in combat with these enemies.  Today was for reconnaissance and not battle. Good things were happening as well.  Daffodils were peeking above the mulch, raising their leaves like little periscopes peering above the water.  Buds on the crabapple and viburnums were continuing to swell bringing hope that this spring will be just as good if not better than any before. 

The gardener returned and the gardener found that there was much work to do.