They say it’s spring, I don’t agree.

Easter pussywillowsAll the signs are there, the calendar, the birds, the rabbits, the plants, but one thing is missing. It’s still crappy grey windy weather and I don’t feel like spring at all. In fact after a snow day this week, I’m expecting another on Monday when another 2-4 inches comes our way. Hardly the weather of egg hunts and daffodils, but there’s not much you can do about it. I suppose the silver lining is once things start going it will be so late the threat from late freezes shouldn’t exist…. but you never know.

Every time the snow receeds (the sun when it does come out is pretty strong) the plants that reappear seem to have grown a little more.  The cyclamen coum is really taking off now in spite of the cold, and the winter aconite wins the distinction of being a flower so early it’s actually now over for the year.  My cyclamen picture doesn’t really capture the glow these early cottoncandy colored flowers give off on a grey day.cyclamen coum

Crocus are trying, and on the first warm day will burst out fully opened.  It amazes me how these flowers seem to explode into bloom when the temperature rises.  The snow crocus are first with yellows and creams and smaller flowers, the bigger dutch hybrids are a little later with dark purples.

crocus in lawnWe will see this spring how my crocus lawn is developing, it’s a bit sparse right now but I see lots of sprouts and I’m hoping more will show.  Here’s the only lawn picture I got before the rabbits nibbled off every single bloom.

dutch crocusA sheltered spot near the house has the first hybrid crocus ready to bloom.  The other ones planted in the open garden are barely just appearing through the mulch.

For all the complaining, spring is not much later than average.  My less than scientific investigation puts us maybe a week behind a normal year.  I’ve kept records of bloom dates for a couple years and like looking back to see what’s up and what’s missing.  My records should be more organized and I should plan a little better but this is about all my procrastinating self can handle.  Right now I feel like I’m already behind and should have more seeds started and more cuttings rooted, but you know how it goes, you’re either much too early or (for me at least) much too late.

NARGS surplus seedsI guess it would help if I stuck with the plan and didn’t take advantage of the surplus round of the North American Rock Garden Society’s seed exchange.  Here are 40 more packets waiting for me to do something with them.  Did I need them?  Of course not, but who can resist giving excess seeds a home and only spending $10 dollars doing it?

So in the meantime I’ll start the peppers and tomatoes and stick with the indoor gardening.  Under lights the onions are coming along, the snowdrops are starting to yellow and the cyclamen coum is still showy.  Two months of indoor color during the dullest time of the year is pretty good in my book!onion seedlings under flourescent shop lights

First day of spring?

The sun was out and temperatures crept up to the fifty plus range, so I did what every self respecting suburban boy does when the bad weather breaks. I washed the cars. Donna was pleased, clean cars and an industrious husband are far more respectable than a spouse who shuffles around the yard looking for crocus sprouts, but I couldn’t avoid poking around in the crusty flower beds. Here’s the one right next to the front walk.messy front bed

It was time for the trash and dead bananna plant carcass to dissapear so that there will be room for spring sprouts.  Sure it’s early, but I think everything there will be fine even with a couple more freezes.  I feel much better now.early spring front bedSorry, but I can’t help putting in one more winter aconite and snowdrop photo.  Sure it’s the same two inch plant from an earlier post, but in case you didn’t notice, the subtitle for this blog is “more than you ever wanted to know about my garden”, so to keep it honest I go for the overkill.snowdrops and eranthisA low of 20F is forecast for later in the week and winter hasn’t been completely crushed,  but I’m going to call this past weekend spring (even if it’s just really really early spring).

Next I should consider cleaning the hellebore bed, it could use some attention too.messy hellebore bedThe pussywillow at the end isn’t waiting so I better get on it, but at least for now the winter grime is off the cars and a couple plants have some breathing room.pussywillow