signs of spring in the garden and the finished fuchsia painting

It seems that spring has finally sprung. I'd been waiting (impatiently) for signs of the daffodils I planted last fall.

daffodils, spring bulbs, signs of spring, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

This week they finally showed up.

Other signs of life have been showing up, too.

Tulips! I didn't plant these bulbs. They were here last year, strangely located in clumps by themselves in the grass on the south side of the house. That side is sheltered and sunny and the tulips seem to be ahead of everything else. The peonies growing there surprised me yesterday when I saw how tall they were and that they already have flower buds.

spring, peony flower buds, gardening, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It's almost hard for me to believe that soon I will have flowers to cut and bring inside. But it's true. The lilac is leafing out and forming beautiful buds that will soon be fragrant flowers.

And then there are the roses.

rose leaves, gardening, early spring, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I am so excited to see that the bargain bareroot roses I planted last summer survived and are looking good. The banded roses I overwintered in the shed don't look as vigorous and I'm a little worried about a couple, but that's gardening. Some things survive and others don't. I celebrate those fresh new leaves and let go of the losses.

There's a lot to celebrate. And then there's the planning and the planting. Rethinking plans and ideas from past years. This will be our second summer here. We learned a lot last year about the sunlight in this garden. It was my first time with cinderblock raised beds. They seemed a little trickier than raised beds made from wood (the biggest challenge is that the soil seamed to dry out fast), but even so, my strawberries made it through the winter and are definitely something to celebrate.

cinder blocks, cinder block raised beds, gardening, strawberry plants, spring, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It's hard to keep my thoughts from straying outside. There's still so much happening inside. Flowers blooming. Orchids and geraniums. Fuchsias and cyclamen. Jasmines. Hoyas. I finished the fuchsia painting this week and now it's available in my shop.

watercolor, painting table, painting palette, painting, Fuchsia plant, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

So many layers, most of which were applied with a tiny brush. It was a long process. My mantra "keep going" helped, but so did Anne Lamott. I thought about her book Bird by Bird and reminded myself that this painting would get done leaf by leaf. And it did.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend filled with many little joys to celebrate.


  1. Oh yes, Anne Lamott's words whisper in my ear so often! I am happy to see all of your garden photos here, spring is still quite a bit behind the times in Vermont, but I know it's coming! Your fuchsia painting is lovely, Anne. Enjoy your weekend! xo

    1. :)

      Thanks, Karen. Spring can be a funny thing and yet I do love it so, even when there are setbacks or frustrations or snow or too much mud. There's just so much to look forward to from here on out.

  2. I am so glad that spring has arrived for you. Yes, before you know it flowers will be blooming in your garden again. Your latest painting is so pretty and delicate. :-)

    1. Thanks, Simone. We've got cold weather ahead this week, disappointing after the beautiful weather we've been having. And yet, I'm not even very sad about it. I'm looking forward to cozy days inside and planning and dreaming about my garden.

  3. Our spring is about 2 weeks early. I'm happy you are seeing signs of spring where you are too because its such a joyful time of year! Love your fuchsia painting!

    1. It IS a joyful time of year. Everything waking up and looking beautiful. Glad you've been enjoying it where you are. I never mind an early spring, though snow on flowers makes me sad (it can be a great excuse to cut armloads, though).

      Thanks for your kind words about my painting!

  4. Beautiful signs of spring and gorgeous painting. Thank you for sharing. Have a lovely and happy week!

  5. is a wonderful time of the year.
    I love your painting.

    1. Thank you, Carla!

      I have to agree. Spring is wonderful... fills me with energy and inspiration!


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