There’s not very much blooming in November where I live. By then, the smell of wood smoke is in the air as people gather around backyard fire pits, their faces and hands warmed as flames flicker and dance atop maple and cherry logs.
In the garden, most everything is done for the year. If I’m lucky, there may be some cold-hardy kale or a few indignant wildflowers here and there. Mostly, November is a time for winding down and hibernating. Soon the snows will come and cover the ground, frost will appear on the window panes, and short days of Winter will be here.
Still, it’s a wonderful time of year in many ways. It gives us and nature a chance to rest and gather our strength for the coming Spring. And there are probably more than a few nature and gardening poems about this season of change. Emily Dickinson and William Cullen Bryant come to mind.
One of those gardening poems comes from Irene Smeenk. “Ajuga in November” is short, like the days of November. Consisting of only two stanzas of four lines each, you won’t need very much time to read this. You will, however, need time to ponder and reflect. This poem may be short, but there’s a lot here.
Like the month of November, this poem asks us to slow down and enjoy the moments of surprise and courage that nature gives us. And it offers hope. Though the days grow shorter and the cold winds gather, Spring will come again.
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This poem comes from our archive that spans over 30 years and includes more than 130 magazine issues of GreenPrints. Pieces like these that turn gardening poems into everyday life lessons always brighten up my day, and I hope this story does for you as well. Enjoy!
Ajuga in November
By subscriber Irene Smeenk of Jenison, MI.
Tiny flower of vibrant hue
Blooming alone in the cold and rain—
Would that I were as courageous as you.
And why are you trying to bloom again?
I pluck you now in bleak November.
Come, share my warmth inside my door,
And my heart will longingly remember
That springtime will return once more! ❖
By subscriber Irene Smeenk of Jenison, MI., published originally in 2017, in GreenPrints Issue #111. Illustrated by Elisabeth Anne Marie
Do you have any favorite gardening poems? Share them in the comments so we can all enjoy them!