We can usually squeak our last day of local skiing in during the first week of March, but this year the middle of February will be stretching it. Spring seems to be here. Not Easter dress, bouquets of tulips spring, more of a garden waking up, could still get buried in snow kind of season where you’re somewhere after mud season but not yet ready to put the winter coat away completely. None of that makes sense, but maybe it does, and I suspect that’s a reason you still read this blog rather than just skim the pictures… not that I could blame you for skimming, it’s all just snowdrop nonsense again!
Although it’s been remarkably warm the plants still don’t seem to have that urgency you see after a March blizzard melts and everything erupts. Tulips and daffodils are still lying low and only a few crocus have started sprouting. The snowdrops seem eager but a few are still holding back as if they’re also a little apprehensive regarding the calendar. Whatever. I declared spring last week and spring it is. The entire garden was finished off this weekend and nearly every bed is cleaned of winter debris and cleared of tired hellebore and epimedium foliage.
A good amount of rain is forecast for Thursday and that combined with more warm will likely get everything sprouting. Even a cold Friday night (just in time for the weekend) won’t be enough to stop the progress.
You may have noticed I allow quite a few leaves to stay on my beds and if you really insist on knowing more I’ll be happy to go on and on about it. Around here my autumn cleanup has been reduced to barely cleaning out beds, mowing all the leaves up from the lawn, and then just dumping the chopped mulch over whatever lays there to cover it all up in a nice consistent chopped leaf look. I act like it’s a careless activity but to be honest I’m almost neurotic about stray grass seedheads falling into the mulch and having their beige-ness contaminate the brown-ness, and having spots where there are too many whole leaves, and not enough chopped bits to settle everything down, and…
So is it obsession or just some elaborate story being spun to cover up a sloppy cleanup? Maybe I don’t even know myself, but I do know my policy of mowing whatever I can saves me from a ton of trips to the compost pile. Weeding and compost turning and digging and hauling are a bunch of work so why not throw everything on the lawn, suck it up with the mower and then use it elsewhere (or back in the same bed) as a mulch to keep down the weeds? Saturday there were piles of hellebore leaves heaped on the lawn, Sunday there was a nice mulch smothering the bittercress in the tropical bed. I think that’s a win-win.
So it’s not even mid February and the garden is already tour-ready. I’ll be spending the next few weeks leading tours through the garden and reminding visitors to follow the official snowdrop path and to not stray into the moss garden. I’m sure everyone will be thrilled with my snowdrop stories and of course be amazed by my name dropping. Boy will I be busy.
When the tour buses stop I wonder if they’ll notice the still-not-repaired bulldozer tracks across the yard, the scaffolding, and the piles of gravel and scrap siding. And the mud. Hmmm. Maybe in my enthusiasm I’m missing a few things but such runs the passions when spring comes knocking, even if winter was all of 8 days this year 😉