The other day, when I was riding the elevator up to our office on the fourth floor of the Mill Inn, I was with a very perky, friendly lady who also worked in the building. She commented on the weather and what a nice day it was. I blinked in return, gazing out through the glass at a gray, otherwise foggy, overcast day. The forecast had called for snow, and as such, she was reveling in the lack of precipitation and the gift nature had bestowed our way. Spring is her favorite season, she continued, a time for rebirth and renewal. The thaw of the icy crust of winter when people tend to bear down and just get through.

The woman’s optimism in the promise of new life and do-overs pretty much encapsulates the theme of our inaugural garden issue, I later realized, which is the dominant undercurrent running through all our stories this month that we hadn’t consciously set out to do.

But there it is: rebirth and renewal and the promise of second chances.

From two 99-year-old long-time friends and neighbors, once again reuniting in their new home at Elmcroft of Sugarland Ridge – miles from the ranches where they’d raised families and lived very different lives – and being crowned Homecoming King and Queen. Their shared history and proximity to their past is comforting for each as they near their 100th birthdays.

Other stories centered on reinventing oneself, as in the case of Joe Wesnitzer on page 20, who after a career in Colorado, returned to his hometown of Sheridan to ranch and grow hydroponic vegetables in a new life, that in his words, makes him feel like an 8-year-old kid again.

In another, 4-H coordinator Kim Swinyer revisits the roots of agriculture and the way those traditions are being passed down to the youth. There’s also a new twist on an old gardening take where Candice talks gothic gardens. Who knew that black was the new green?

And finally, to the story of Landon’s Greenhouse on the next page, a hometown nursery that is turning back the clock to old-fashioned methods of growing everything onsite with a pride in quality and being at the heart of their community.

We invite you to sit back and revel, plan your spring projects and dream big about adventures to come as you take in these stories and embrace the promise of spring.

By: Jen C. Kocher

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