Happy National Poetry Month!

Since 1996, in the United States, April has been dedicated as a month to celebrate poetry. The purpose is to highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets and introduce more Americans to the pleasures of poetry. April seems an appropriate time for National Poetry Month given the concentration of poems related to spring. It’s also a time I long for every year when the landscape starts bursting into life after a long, cold winter. The joys of gardening are just around the corner as are long walks in neighboring arboretums and nature preserves.

A fine example of a springtime poem is by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who seems to capture the essence of the earliest of this season:

Longfellow Poem

American poet Robert Frost wrote another favorite, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”. It speaks to that precious and fleeting time when the earth erupts with newness. The poem has a pessimistic tone referencing the fall of man in Eden. The lesson seems to be there is so much potential early in life (as in spring) but it can become corrupted. It reminds me to enjoy the time I have with my young boys because, like the early spring, it will be gone in the blink of an eye. I must do everything I can to not only appreciate this time with them but raise them in such a way as to give them a better chance at remaining uncorrupted by the world –  so that they may “stay gold” if you will.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Where I live in the Northeast United States, April is the time of year when this particular shade of green is apparent “but only so an hour”. I look forward to it every year.

landscape springwaterfall springThe uniqueness of the early spring is also the inspiration for a CONTEST!

If you are a horticulturist, backyard gardener or simply a lover of nature, I have a contest for you! Well, this is not a contest to win a Le Creuset pot or something else of significant value. It’s just something fun with a little reward for one lucky person who is able to identify the common name for a few plants. All but one of these photos were taken on my own property within the last two weeks. Some will be very easy to identify and at least two will take more advanced skills. You can leave your guesses in the comments section and I will select one winner to receive this copy of “The Gardener” Comic book-like plantable seed paper. I bought this one in New York City in the fall and would love to share it to celebrate the season.


Identify the spring flowers…if you can!


Blue flowersB.

Flowers 2C.

Flower #3D.

Flower #4E.

Flower #6F.

Flower #7G.

Flower #8H.

Flower #10I.

Flower #5J.

Flower #11K.

Flower #12

Leave a comment with the common names of these plants designated by the letter above each one and you will be entered to win. Enter even if you aren’t sure of your answers or even if you just want to tell us your favorite poem. If no one gets it 100% correct I will choose a winner from among the entries. Good luck!

(Deadline is the last day of National Poetry Month, April 30, 2013)

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