Flowers . . .  are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out-values all the utilities of the world. -Ralph Waldo Emerson


Winter can be such a droll time of year. It seems that all color has gone from the landscape and even the sun keeps you feeling like something is missing. I find solace in the monotony of it all. It seems the perfect time to indulge in a warm mug of chocolate, to immerse yourself in a long heartfelt conversation with a new friend, or to get lost in a frivolous novel.

Over the years, I have grown accustomed to and embrace the rhythms of the landscaper's life. The ebbs and flows of rest and stress are as predictable as the seasons. The wintertime is my rest and renewal time--the retreat from the march of progress. It is my time to regroup, re-evaluate, and to contemplate. It is in this grayness that I find hope

Many people find their renewal in the fresh sights and smells of springtime. One cannot fail to rejoice in the bursting buds and the new life that is exploding from every living thing. Unfortunately, spring is the most demanding time for my profession. It is one that allows me little time to (literally) "stop and smell the roses."

Instead of lamenting the unfair trade that I have made with Life, that of colorless rest in lieu of springtime vitality, I have adapted. I have learned to make up for the "grayness" of my restful time by surrounding myself with everything alive and growing. The plants that adorn my deck in the summer, come inside and continue their show. With the fresh air that they bring comes a sense of life and growth that few things (outside of my own children) can evoke.