Signs of Spring

When I think of spring, I imagine two favorite signs now connected by a thoughtful gift from an East coast colleague that shows up with the first early spring flowers and garden visitors.  We had worked together a few years back.  When we were on breaks or sharing a meal, we enjoyed comparing notes about our very different gardens.

His was a meticulous east coast garden inspired by formality and precision.

By comparison, my Missouri limestone hillside garden was a riot of easy to grow native redbuds, dogwoods, and compact fruit trees sprinkled with anything that bloomed throughout the growing season, even weeds.  And frogs.  Lots of frogs, all shapes and sizes but my favorites were the spring frogs.

“Frogs,” he would say, as if the concept was brand new to him.

“Little frogs called spring peepers,” I would add.  Tiny grey frogs with a big presence, they make a resounding noise on the first warm spring-like day, everyone knows just when that is, at times it is in the middle of winter.  The sun will come out, the day will warm up and so will the frogs, one won’t be able to hear one’s thoughts for the racket, it is quite special.

We would go on with our official business and when talk turned back to gardens, the conversation would come back around to the little frogs that could get lost inside a regular-sized yellow daffodil.  They must not have tiny frogs likes these on the East coast, or if they do, they must sing much more quietly in his garden.

So when I opened the box of miniature daffodils with his return address, I knew exactly why he sent them.  They were for the spring peepers, teeny tiny daffodils for the small, but ever so loud, frogs I had in my garden.

Charlotte Ekker Wiggins is a gardener, beekeeper and sometimes cook, for more visit Published by Kaleidoscope Weekly with permission. Copyright 2018, all rights reserved. This column may not be copied, published, reprinted, rewritten or redistributed. Contact Charlotte at

Tiny daffodils “Tete a Tete” from my East coast friend are now among the first daffodils to pop up in my spring garden. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)garden

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