After a mild December and January at Oak Spring, flowers began to open in late winter, beginning with hellebores, crocuses, irises and witch-hazel. A warm February made the garden a comfortable place to be and coaxed spring flowers to begin blooming early.
But a late freeze and a winter storm that stretched much of the east coast covered Oak Spring in a few inches of snow. The magnolia flowers that were emerging in early March froze on their stems, ensuring that -- at least for some of the trees -- it would be a mild spring blossom. Still, the snowfall gave Oak Spring a quiet serenity that, despite its ramifications for the flowers, had a beauty of its own.
From mid-March to mid-April, the weather has vastly improved. Even with some wilted buds, the garden has exploded with color and aroma, attracting pollinators and people alike.
Bunny Mellon once wrote:
"Countless imaginative creations have found their expression in flowers, and the cycle of their life has the strength of sensual pleasure with their scent, fruits and seeds. Their presence inspires our tired spirits with their fragile being, and allow our minds to go beyond its earthly limits. Poets and lovers wander into their secret realms, hoping for permission to share a part of their mystery."
Oak Spring Garden was Bunny's own imaginative creation, and by following the flowers' life cycles to peak blossom in spring, it is easy to understand why nature was such an inspiration to her.