A welcome change this for this morning’s walkabout…no rain! Instead we have a beautiful, although crispy 30 degree F, sunny morning. Determined to make the most of it, I took my daily walk to look for changes in the garden and just to get some fresh air. The Front Garden is filled with dwarf iris of the prettiest blue, and the daffodils are just breaking bud. Lots of perennials have pushed through the mulch now, and I even spotted a bit of new growth on one of last year’s fall-planted mums. That’s rare, and now that I’ve seen one, I’ll be watching the others for signs of life. (Yes, I’m greedy when it comes to plants!)
Happily, the golden heucheras and gold-foliaged shrubs planted last fall have also returned. As mentioned in prior posts, there is to be a gradual switch to more perennials and shrubs, so fewer annuals are required each year as I age. Some of the daffodil clumps are overly thick and will need to be divided. If it weren’t so muddy I’d do it now, since cloudy days and more rain is in our forecast, but it’s just too muddy. Instead, I’ll stick a bamboo skewer in the center of those clumps that need digging and later on when the foliage has died down, I’ll dig and divide and replant. Right now is a great time to study the spring garden, and determine where more of those divided daffodils can go, so I’m taking photos and sketching maps to make that job easier.
Last winter, I was envious of other gardeners’ early, early posts (like February in Indianapolis!) of winter aconite blooms. Such a cheerful yellow! Needless to say, I needed some, so last fall 25 were planted under my beloved elder, right by the driveway so I’d see them early on. These finally began blooming on March 8, but today they look even better, despite being pounded by rain, and there are 49 flowers from the 25 bulbs planted. I wonder if they will bloom earlier in their second year? Regardless, I’m happy with them and hope they fill in the entire area.
Poor, poor crocus! They have been so brave, and very durable considering the pounding they’ve taken from rain, sleet, and wind. They began blooming March 3, but have spent most of their days closed tightly to protect their stamen and pollen. So far there’s only been 4 days with sunshine, but only two of those were above 50 degrees, enabling the bees to be out working. Today, they are beginning to look a bit bedraggled, but I love the fact that they are so early, and can be seen clearly against the dark mulch. Even from the living room, I can easily see them beside the potager’s gate.
I always find it interesting that the white lilac on the north side of the Lady Cottage (in the North Island) is the first to show swelling buds. It’s sister in the South Island is not even showing an interest in activity! Perhaps the north one gets a little protection from the cold winds, and the fact that there is so little sunshine on a daily basis at this point makes little difference in a more shaded location. Nearby, at the base of the Cottage the primulas are greening up.
I love, love, love primulas, and am determined to find more spots for them and to increase the types in my gardens. Like all of you, I’m hoping this “staycation” ends soon so there can be some serious plant shopping. Yes, one can do it “on-line” but it’s just not the same experience, is it?
No changes in the potager since yesterday’s post, except the top layer of soil in the beds is frozen, as is the water in the birdbath. Since we have a 90% chance of snow this afternoon (Oh, joy!) that’s probably a good thing. I think this afternoon will be a good time to re-string the wind chimes, which have fallen apart and have been laying in the basement since fall clean-up. I’d hoped to begin moving plants to the greenhouse, but between the mud and the forecast there’s reason for delay. However, I think I will go out and harvest some of those daffodils that are nearly open. Better to have them indoors to enjoy in the coming days than buried in snow!
Hope you are finding signs of life in your gardens, and well as a bit of serenity. Please stay safe and healthy. I value each one of you!