The Weekly Gardener 1


Vernal Equinox

It's Officially Spring

White Hyacinth

This year welcomed the equinox with a chill more suitable for winter, followed suddenly by balmy breezes and temperatures in the seventies. I give up. The garden seems to be indifferent to the whims of the weather, and it follows its own rules, whatever they are.

The cherry trees are in bloom, in lovely shades of pink and purple, and the spring bulbs finally decided to come out of the ground: it's officially spring. I guess next week I'll have no excuse to postpone the spring cleaning, and I'm kind of eager to see what's underneath; every year I get a few wonderful surprises as a reward for my efforts.

The weather is forecast to stay warm for the whole week, a wonderful respite from the endless freeze, but it will rain a lot, it seems, so maybe I will get my excuse after all.

I'm so over the dreary and the cold and the sleet and the muck, and even though I realize this is one of those March head fakes, and we still have a month to go until the whole mess is behind us, I can't help my excitement for spring.

Speaking of patterns, every year, about a week after the equinox, summer visits. It doesn't stay, mind you, but it always visits for a few days. I thought this year, since spring arrived wrapped in arctic air, might be an exception, but no, the balmy temperatures were right on schedule, like they always are.

In my early gardening years this would be the time when I rushed eagerly to the nursery to pick lovely specimens and plant them in my garden, only to do it all again a month later after the first batch succumbed to the inevitable April frosts.

This is how gardeners learn patience.


The First Daffodil


It was so cold when I took this picture I felt sorry for the daffodil, poor thing who dared the freezing temperatures in order to be the only flower in the garden that didn't belong to the hellebore family.

My daffodils are usually a week or two behind, because many of them are planted in part shade, but what a treat when they finally bloom.

Every year I plant more, one can never have too many daffodils, and even now I have a few bulbs in a pot that need to find a home in the garden.

After the freeze subsided, more daffodils followed the valiant pioneer, I even saw a few hyacinths.

Despite totally inept ministering, the pink peony I moved and divided earlier this spring seems no worse for the wear, and its purple shoots already started brightening a few sunny spots between the cheerful spring bulbs. I don't know if the young plants will be strong enough to bloom this year, but I'll be content if they get acclimated to their new locations at least.

Meanwhile the vegetable seedlings are growing big and strong indoors, undaunted by the diminished light that accompanied the cold streak.

I miss my garden so much during winter!