Signs of Spring

Rhododendron in bloom

Late in the Winter, we get crocus and daffodils, which bring us some hope for the season change. But it is not until a little further in, when things really begin to green and early flowers bloom that I can say that Spring has settled in well.

 First the Rhododendron out front will bloom. It happens suddenly and almost always catches me by surprise, the buds turning overnight into full blown flowers. Unfortunately, even though it is in a sheltered area, this one is usually short lived, as it blooms right at the start of the spring storms and the delicate flowers are beaten and shredded by the winds and rain.

 Not long after that, the Phlox pop open.  Low to the ground, their color spreads up the hill garden where they grow.

When the Violets kick in, growing not only in the large garden masses where they were planted, but also popping up in random spots in the yard, I can be confident that we have turned the seasonal corner. Rarely will we get snow on top of violets. When we finally get a break in the rain again, I will be busily out gathering violets to be dried- for tea, for bath salts and a precious few to be sugared as cake decorations. 
Ostrich Ferns

 The unfurling of fern fiddleheads parallels the the unfolding of the season. We have always had a few ferns scattered about ( mostly at Cthulhu’s feet), but planting a mass of Ostrich Ferns two falls ago has given us a new show to watch in the spring.

 And then there is the most classic sign of spring of all- the Dandelion, with a sleepy slow bee perched a top, slowly gathering up the first nectar of the season.

 Although I will be luxuriating in the lushness of the gardens in another 2 months, there is so much growth and activity that it is hard to take it all in. One of the joys of spring is that it is like a quiet morning, allowing you to focus on a few stories and follow them completely.

Lunchtime gardening

During gardening season, one of the great advantages of working mostly from home is that I can slip outside over my lunch hour and get some gardening done. After several days of being stuck inside due to rain, rain, hail and more rain, it was a joy to get outside and get a bit caught up. There is still a lot of spring prep to be done over the next 2 weeks , but here is what I got done today:

  • Moved the three chain saw carved Mushroom the Ogre made a few years back from the garden where Cthulhu has landed to the new hill garden by the mailbox ( this now names them the Cthulhu garden and the Mushroom garden)
  • Dug up, split and transplanted ornamental grass from perennial hill garden to the new Mushroom hill garden.
  • Planted 25 Freesia bulbs in the Mushroom garden
  • Picked up 2 wheelbarrow loads of winter debris that had been cleared out of the Cthulhu garden right before the rains came and dumped it in the firepit.

Not bad for 40 minutes of work.

As you can see, there is still a lot of work to do in all of these gardens ( as well as all the other gardens around the house), but I am pleased where they stand at this point on the calendar.