The wren and the window box

Satsuma welcomes spring with fragrant white, star-like blooms. All images by Diane Morey Sitton.

About a week ago I noticed leaf litter in the window box outside my dining room window. By the next day it had begun to take shape: a wren’s nest woven with sloppy precision in exactly the same place as last year – between the first and second impatiens.

Impatiens and wrens love window boxes.

It dawned on me then, it must be the same bird come back to build her nest amid the flowers!

English dogwood, along with bridal wreath and ‘Lady Banks’ rose, shower spring gardens with white blooms.

These days, with extra time to spend in the garden, it’s easy to spot nature’s sensations … and they are everywhere.

From peppers to petunias, one little miracle follows another as seeds sprout and grow into seedlings.

In the past few weeks, as bluebirds and chickadees vie for the same nest boxes and wrens seek out nesting sites in upended buckets and flower pots, the color show has advanced from forsythia blooms—as richly golden as the sun’s spring rays– to peach blooms with their promise of succulent fruit, to bridal wreaths’ billowing white sprays. Azaleas, ever the South’s beloved drama queens, have bloomed and now faded, yielding the stage to patches of bluebonnets.

Rabbits number among nature’s gentlest creatures.

Even the old pear tree behind the vegetable garden managed, once again, to evoke spring’s enduring and endearing promise. Before its unfurling foliage turned it bright green, the tree resembled a massive white cloud held earthbound by a knarred trunk. Later, with the arrival of longer days and warmer temperatures, squirrels will turn it into a playground as they steal the unripe fruit.

Like its far reaching stems, wisteria’s fragrance knows no bounds!

But color isn’t spring’s only sensation. Fragrance, too, astounds.

Azaleas herald early spring with vibrant color.

Here, as in many of the old-fashioned gardens that dot nearby farms, paper whites bloomed first…the snow-like flowers almost too heady to bring indoors. Banana shrub bloomed next. Regrettably, the large shrub with its inconspicuous, but highly-scented blooms is planted closer to the driveway than to the house. In the front yard, wisteria is the star of the show. Groomed to resemble an open umbrella and as reliable as a worn out garden glove, it dangles its purple flowers in the breeze, attracting bees and releasing fragrance. And now, as satsuma’s white, pearl-like buds begin to open – hampered some by this weekend’s rain and cold nights –it’s come down to days, maybe hours, before the intoxicating scent greets me outside my breezeway.

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Butterfly rose (‘Mutabilis’) is so named because when in full bloom it appears that the bush is covered with multi-hued butterflies.

It’s easy to linger these days…to take in the color and the fragrance…to marvel as a seed sprouts or as a wren returns to a window box to build a scrappy nest.

This floral medley includes petunia, sweet pea, hosta, and dusty miller, among other selections.

In a few weeks the eggs will hatch; a few weeks later the fledglings will test their wings.

In spring, nature’s sensations come in various colors, shapes, textures, and fragrances.

It’s spring, and nature’s sensations abound!

Roses enrich the season with beautiful flowers, sweet fragrance, and nesting sites for birds, as well.
Posted by Diane Morey Sitton
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