We missed most of the snow, but in general it was cool here last week. In a fit of mid-March optimism I drug a few of the hardiest things out of the garage and onto the driveway for a little sun and fresh air and then forgot about them for a few days. Things got cooler over the weekend with a Friday night low around 25F (-4C) and I had my concerns for the rosemary, Fatsia, and potted Dracaena, but in the light of the next morning they didn’t look too bad. Of course I left them out for the next night as well, with similar temperatures, because like a small child I’ll try and get away with it for as often as I can until things backfire. Some people only learn things the hard way.
In spite of two cold nights, the calendar and stars both say today is the first day of spring, and I’m happy the heavens have finally caught up to where I’ve already been for quite a few weeks. It’s exciting to know that spring has been given its official recognition for the new year but also sad to think that some of the most exciting highlights of the year have already passed. Next week promises warmer weather and with it the peak of the snowdrop season and then the fading away while other things step up for their moment. Already the witch hazel are dropping their petals and the winter aconite are on their way to setting seed and I’m almost missing those chilly afternoons shuffling around the garden looking for the first sprouts.
I think this gardener is feeling a bit of a crash following the abundance of snowdrops this spring. They’re still amazing and a few late ones are just starting and trust me I spend more time than I should soaking them in, but maybe I’ll need some help coming off the high this year.
Maybe daffodils can be my methadone. In spite of this weekend’s turn to cold the first daffodils are just a few degrees of sunshine short of opening, and you can trust I have my eye on them.
Oops. One thing which I didn’t have my eyes on were the four pots of daylily seedlings which were put out into the coldframe last week. Daylilies are hardy enough plants, but for seedlings to come out from a cozy winter under the growlights and face a freezing cold night (or two since what’s done is done), might have been more than they should have to handle.
Generally if things freeze off I’m quite quick to write them off and move on, since there’s never a shortage of new seedlings and divisions and gifts and purchases waiting to find a home, but the frozen daylily seedlings could really be a setback to the future of the farm. I was counting on these to provide the 2025 introductions which would be unveiled when I put out my first daylily catalogue. Golly. This really does throw a wrench into things.
So moving a couple tons of rocky fill did help ease the stress of the ups and downs which come with building a world quality daylily farm, but the even better part to all the hard labour was filling in a few more square feet of the low spot which haunts me in the back of the yard. I feel like the Dutch must have felt when they reclaimed their land from the sea. Every square foot of flat ground holds the potential of a new planting area, and perhaps in their honor I should plant it all to tulips one year, just in case the daylily farm doesn’t keep me busy enough.
I’m estimating this job should be finished up somewhere around late 2027, assuming I don’t end up in the hospital first. Hmmm. Actually I’m surprised that didn’t come up in addition to the talk of closets, and honestly don’t know if I should be flattered or insulted by that. In another year I’ll be closer to 60 than 50 so…
Well that’s not the direction I had planned for this post. It’s the first day of official spring and as always I’ll be gardening as if I’ll live to be 120. In my opinion it’s the only option since imagine planning for a bucket-kicking at 90 and then sticking around for another 30! That’s a long time to regret the unplanted acorn.