Spring has taken an odd turn here. The weather has been fantastic and there’s been time to spend in the garden but I have absolutely no interest in doing anything. Maybe it’s the lull effect. Snowdrop season come on so fast and was over so quickly, it was hard to keep that high going. Then the warm days were followed by two nights of hard freeze which singed the corydalis and melted half the hyacinths, but oddly spared the magnolia buds. This has become the norm lately, but for some reason the freeze-damaged flowers have me a little bored, and the return to warm days has me hesitant about starting too much transplanting. Fortunately the front garden looks ok with some spring daffodils, and my little twig of a magnolia cutting has grown into something which finally shows off.
I’m 87% sure last week’s freeze again killed all the barely pea-sized wisteria buds, but the almost open magnolias are fine. Go figure.
Right now, with a nice cover of shredded leaves, the front border seems optimistically weed-free, so even if there is transplanting and thinning to do I can still pretend it’s all under control for a few weeks longer. A gardener with more foresight and enthusiasm would probably scuffle through the mulch with a hoe now, before the onslaught of seedlings put down roots, but…
As I said, the hyacinths are probably the one bulb which took the biggest freeze-hit. Some are fine, but many either melted or suffered freeze damage to the flowers. Of course with all this pessimism running through my veins all I see are frosted flowers, even though I know I’m the only one to see it.
The hyacinths usually lead the garden into full daffodil season, which is also normally a big thing, but last year’s purge of the narcissus beds has left a noticeably smaller show in the back yard. Again, I’m the only one who notices these things, but I do miss them.
Actually the daffodils will be back next year, they just need a year to settle in and bulk up, but what I still want to celebrate is my first self-sown daffodil!
I had been watching the daffodil seedlings for a few years and of course had all these amazing possibilities in my head, so it was a little bit of a surprise to see a nearly identical child show up. It’s going to be interesting to see what the others turn out to be since there are quite a few ringing the mother clump… all about a daffodil stem’s length away from the seed source.
Honestly there are still plenty of daffodils to come. They’re later than normal from the digging and drying and storing process, but there will still be enough. Tulips on the other hand, there are never enough tulips! I replanted some of the ones I dug last year, but they were stunted from the ‘in the green’ transplanting process so only about half will bloom this year. But that’s not a bad thing since the transplanted tulips are showing perfect foliage, and that’s not been the case recently. The foliage is usually scarred with the pocks and streaks of the tulip fire fungus, and the tulips I didn’t get around to moving are again showing this kind of damage. I considered fungal sprays, but they all sounded so toxic I was going to just try digging these as well until I saw Neem oil spray. An organic option which doesn’t sound too eco-toxic so I’m going to give that a try on top of moving them. I’m not 100% sure when is best to spray, and I’ve never used it before, so please let me know if you have any suggestions.
Since we ended up on the repulsive subject of tulip fire, let me just stay with the theme and say that pond cleanup is also repulsive and probably the most disgusting part of spring cleanup. There was a slimy layer of rotten leaves coating everything, with a robust algae population and who-knows-what-else ecosystem of muck. Even with gloves it would be super-gross, but of course I was too lazy to go find them, so into the unknown my fingers went. The best part though was when the dog found something delicious in all that muck to chew on. What a disgusting little beast. Yuck.
So sorry about that segway into grossness. It’s probably just a symptom of my dark mood which will evaporate just as quickly as the first tulips open. In the meantime I wish you all a wonderful and safe week!