March in the Brooks Garden


4 minutes reading

“I won’t lie and say I love each day of winter. Because I don’t. But there is the dream of summer to carry me through and moments of beauty that transcend the mire and the slog.” – James Rebanks, The Shepherd Life

Taking solace in these last days of winter in the Brooks garden, I have left the garden in its own winter rest. The wild and unruly heads of the dormant yarrow fall against the seed heads of goldenrod, and a mass of fireweed stalks lean against the flowering forsythia. I have left these stems and seed heads undisturbed through this winter to provide habitat and forage for wildlife, learning to see beauty in the wild abandon of it all. With spring upon us, there is often an urge to start clipping back the garden, to bring order and tidiness into our world. I am learning to pause, to listen to this urge, and to look deeper into this longing. Ever mindful that this is not my garden alone but shared with so many others, I silence my need for order. I will leave these stems and seed heads a few weeks more and busy myself in the greenhouse.

Signs of spring are starting to emerge with the first of the daffodils and crocus. The songs of birds greet the morning, and part of me leans into the belief that they greet me too. I breathe deeply and drink in the stillness, not rushing into the expectancy of spring. This is the work of finding purpose and renewal in this winter rest. It’s an active process that I continue to return to. It is a practice that I cultivate to nourish both myself and the garden.

Flowers blooming at the end of winter in the Brooks Garden.

Learning to appreciate winter can be a trying task. Relishing the cold and rain takes patience and work. I am coming to understand that this is a much needed pause for myself, a moment where I reflect on my work and prepare myself for the year to come. These moments of quiet reflection seem increasingly rare in this world. We can so easily be overwhelmed by news cycles and outside pressures, and oftentimes, picking up the garden spade is a daunting task amongst the noise and outside pressures for our attention. I lean into the cycles of nature during this time, finding a balm in the patterns of blooms with the first native flowers of osoberry and pink flowering current emerging. I treasure them like the nurturing friends they are and nourish them in turn with mulching and weeding.

Somehow, we find a way, pull a weed here, sow a seed there, and for a second, silence the mind. I do this again and again, sometimes epiphanies come, and sometimes I am just getting through the day, a bit disgruntled by the microplastics of the world. I wish I could put into words how I keep putting my spade into the soil and why I return to this work. It’s a feeling deep inside, that moment of laughter when a Robin lands beside me on the table and looks directly into my eye. It’s in the catching of the sunlight against the witch hazel blooms. It’s in the finding of a purpose, in knowing that at least in this small patch of garden, I can make things better. It’s in the healing, and the breaking, and putting it all back together again. It’s in the patterns, the cycles, in the seasons.

With Love From the Garden,


Farm to Table

This month, our tasting room menu features arugula, radicchio, honey, and eggs from the Brooks Estate and Garden.