Folklore Gardening Heritage

Spring Has Sprung


Spring is here I see the signs everywhere.

I called on a few mountain folk to see what harbingers of spring they recalled from childhood.

Pap recalled

  • listening for the whippoorwill to signal spring
  • his father always planted potatoes on Good Friday
  • when its warm enough to see barefoot kids you know its spring

Mrs. T. recalled

  • when the bloodroot blooms (the white flowers below are bloodroot blooming behind my house)
  • when the sarvis tree blooms
  • her mother always planted green beans on Good Friday

Mrs. M. recalled

  • early blooming flowers
  • her mother said anything you plant on the first day of spring will live
  • her mother aired out all the quilts, mattresses, and pillows each spring

Spring always brings thoughts of new birth and starting over. But spring also reminds me of what went before, of the past. Each spring as I drive the roads around my area I see daffodils and yellow bells blooming where there are no houses, no buildings, just woods and grass.

daffodils at old house

I know the flowers are from old home places. Each spring as I look for them, I wonder who planted them? Was their life harder than mine? Happier? What happened to them? What happened to the home place? The questions are endless and most have no answers.

I like to think a mother like me planted them to add beauty to her life, maybe it was a grandmother who planted them, or even a husband trying to prove to his wife things would get better.

Spring is a new beginning, a new start. I just know the ones that planted the flowers, the ones that went before, have something to teach us if we will just listen.


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  • Reply
    March 24, 2008 at 9:22 am

    this will be my first “real” spring…still about three feet of snow on the ground, i sort of remember some of the stuff under there from last year but look forwarded to the reawakening of all that grows. my apple tree has had buds for quite awhile and am looking forward to the blossoms. paulie, our neighbor has already tapped all his maples…it is 4 today

  • Reply
    Bobbi in KY
    March 22, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    I heard my first whipperwhill (sp) last week, guess its Spring.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 22, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Yesterday afternoon I went to the grocery store. I saw several yard sale signs while I was out. Another sure sign of spring, when the yard sale signs start popping up!

  • Reply
    March 21, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Spring and fall are my favorite seasons. The colors of nature in both seasons are breathe taking. Golds, reds, oranges in fall and the bright shades of green, pink and yellow in the spring. But what really tells me spring has sprung in SC is when yellow dust, better known as pollen, is everywhere.

  • Reply
    March 21, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    I wait and wait for Spring from about Feb. 1st on. I wait and wait and think about how wonderful it will be to feel the warm sun on my face. And then suddenly it sneaks up on me. I see the daffodils start to peak out and I literally worry about those little suckers ’cause I think they are coming up too soon. But they know better than I because by the time they bloom spring is actually here. How does that happen? How does that happen EVERY SINGLE YEAR??!!

  • Reply
    March 21, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Daily I look for what is pushing up through the earth in anticipation of newness. I love the spring time and my daffodils and forsythia are all blooming now. The tulips are bursting up but no blooms yet. Can’t wait.

  • Reply
    March 21, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Happy Spring! Those are some beautiful pictures!

  • Reply
    March 21, 2008 at 2:19 am

    It’s fun to see what the coming of spring means to everyone. I know it’s on it’s way when I see the very first Robin in the yard.

  • Reply
    Stacy A
    March 20, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    I am so glad to find someone else who thinks like me. I am always looking at things and wondering how they got there and what were the people like that created them. Sometimes I run across someone who thinks old age means crazy; they don’t see any value in the experience of the aging. I feel so sorry for them. There is so much to be learned from the life and stories of those before us. Your right Tipper, we just have to listen. Thank you for this beautiful post. Love Stacy

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 20, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    I am happy to see spring coming, it’s as if when the earth rebirths itself we all experience a new beginning.
    I seem to have some memory of the old folks taking a dose of sulfur in the spring but I am not certain that is a correct memory. Has anyone else heard of that, if so what was the purpose?
    Thanks, Tipper, for the spring thoughts as bright and shiny as those beautiful angels you paint!

  • Reply
    March 20, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Auhhhh, spring is my favorite time of year. Everything so fresh and pretty. I love seeing your pics of the daffodils and the forsythia and the bloodroot. I love to go wildflower walking, looking at all the beautiful wild delphinium, violets, etc. Ohhh, and can’t forget mushroom huntin, and the beautiful dogwoods and redbuds and lilacs.

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