Spring in the Orchard: a story of anticipation and hope

Encouragement on the journey to a simple life.

Always the first of our fruit trees to bloom, the plum trees hold the promise of spring.

It's really spring when the plum trees bloom.

No matter how bleak and long January seems, I am comforted by the knowledge that the plum trees will bloom in late February or early March.

It's hard to believe on the coldest of days but I know it will happen, and it fills me with joy to count the weeks remaining until the blossoms will open and the bees return.

a story of anticipation and hope

We planted this little orchard the first autumn that we lived here on Oak Hill. If you'd like some tips on planning and planting a homestead orchard, click that link and go read the post!

Every year I mark the date the trees burst into bloom. Well, I never remember to write it on my calendar. But every year I take photos of the flowers and share them online. And one year I got smart, and gathered all those dates in one place.

Here's why I think record keeping is important and how I try to keep it easy.

Keeping track of bloom dates helps me anticipate this first sign of spring, and gives me the hope of spring. I enjoy knowing that season will follow season in their time.

Living a simple life isn't hard, it just depends on our attitude and outlook.

Slow down and smell the flowers

March 6th was the "magic day" this year, the day the red plums bloomed, followed by the yellow plums on March 8th.

It's been quite windy this week so the bees haven't appeared in force yet, but they will. They will.

Honey bees as well as the native bees, wasps, and assorted other flying insects are always overjoyed when the plum trees bloom. They are among the very first flowers to provide food to our local pollinators.

There'll be a noisy buzzing in our little orchard as they fly from flower to flower, more of them than I can count. Spent blossoms will fall to the ground on the breeze like snowflakes, and the scent of the flowers will hang heavy in the air.

It's always a magical week.

First signs of spring: the fruit trees begin to bloom and the bees aren't far behind.

Storms and renewal

We have several plum trees in several varieties. The red plum tree is the largest, and was the first one to produce fruit in our little orchard years ago.

Sadly, last summer the tree split in half in a fierce windstorm, leaving half of the trunk standing upright and the other half nearly lying on the ground. I mourned that tree as I harvested the fruit that had begun to ripen just a few days before the storm.

The leaves didn't wither and die though, and hubby had more pressing projects and wasn't in a hurry to chop it down.

All winter I wondered if the half of the tree that is still upright would live or die. Surely the half that is nearly resting on the ground would be dead, right?

And yet March has proved it to be alive... both halves of this enduring tree are covered with blossoms that are dancing in the breeze!

Plum trees in bloom

Of course, eventually this tree will die. Dwarf trees don't produce fruit for as many years as standard size trees, and even though this tree's roots grow deep and it has endured for almost twenty years, that split trunk will probably prove fatal sooner or later. Its lifespan will inevitably come to an end some day.

But for now, it announces the coming of spring for me, for the bees and the butterflies. It provides juicy, sweet fruit that we eat fresh, and turn into jam and sauces. Birds nest in its branches and it shades our home from the hot summer sun.

I will enjoy its sweetness as long as I can.

The orchard in spring, a story of anticipation and hope

Do you feel broken, blown over and split in half by the windstorms of life?

God shows us that He will hold us close and give us the strength and endurance we need to weather life's storms. The winter won't last forever. When spring arrives, you too can bloom and thrive once again. Hold on. Have faith.

Fruit trees in bloom

Enjoy life's sweetness!

Fruit trees in bloom

Live a simple, joyful life! A reflection on finding joy and hope in an orchard in spring.

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Just for my own records - and so that I can find it easily next year - here is the list of blooming dates.

3/14/2021 - the year of the Deep Freeze

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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