From the Ground Up — Life is awakening everywhere

Published 6:00 am Thursday, May 20, 2021

In time of silver rain

The earth puts forth new life again,

Green grasses grow

And flowers lift their heads,

And over all the plain

The wonder spreads…

Langston Hughes was right. Spring is a magical time when life awakens everywhere. Virginia bluebells and spring beauties carpet the floodplain along the river in downtown Farmville. Violets pop up in lawns and flower beds and make welcome additions to salads.

Home gardens are accented with tender flowering plants – fragrant hyacinths, tough pansies, intrepid crocuses, gay daffodils, perky tulips, shy bloodroot, and Leucojum or snowflakes. Irises and peonies also make an appearance and remind many gardeners of their grandmothers’ gardens.

Much to the delight of floral arrangers, many shrubs burst forth with flowers even before they sprout leaves. Old-fashioned flowering quince, bridal wreath, and forsythia reign supreme. In Farmville, there is hardly a house without at least several azaleas.

Trees flower too and then grow leaves in every shade of green imaginable. Red maple flowers appear first and signal that trees are awakening. Route 20 from Dillwyn to Scottsville is festooned with dogwood and redbud blossoms.

Redbud trees exhibit cauliflory, meaning that blooms appear all along the stems and sometimes even the trunk. This allows more flowers to be pollinated by insects crawling on the limbs.

Yes, spring is beautiful in and around our hometown. Everything is fresh and new again.