The Weekly Gardener 1


Signs of Life

Aspirational February

Yellow Rose

A few days of mild weather provided the perfect opportunity for a little garden sprucing. After I pulled countless wild honeysuckle clumps from the northern flower beds, all the while counting my blessings for the rain which softened the dirt and made the endeavor possible, I couldn't help but notice that the garden beds look a lot tidier than I thought they would. Much of the mess was the wild brush, apparently, the border plants are relatively well-behaved.

Spring cleaning is nowhere near complete, but a fresh stretch of cold weather hit pause on my gardening enthusiasm and banished me indoors. Now I'm sitting here, looking out the window with growing impatience, and waiting to go back to my beloved and finish the task as soon as the chill subsides.

The perennials started coming out, just in time for the new freeze. The wild roses are leafing out, and the new shade garden under the crab apple tree is cleaned up and ready for planting. Its dwellers won't arrive for another month, which allows me the time to actually plan a layout to which I haven't given much thought.

The new shade perennials are mostly woodland natives I've never grown before. It would be nice to see flowers in that area, besides the blue eyed Marys that yield a good flush of color in May.

Meanwhile I'm feeding my yearning for all things green and flowery with these potted plants I keep grabbing at the grocery store on my way to the cash register. They are all yellow. Maybe it's a sign.




Most years the buttercups are the first spring bulbs to bloom, and this year was no exception. It's hard to tell what's underneath the thick layer of withered plant material that accumulated over the winter. Plants are jolted into rapid growth as soon as they are relieved of the blanket of debris, but with the arctic blast coming back they could use some cold weather protection for now, so I'll wait.

I'm curious what emerged, as I am every spring. I can make up a few hyacinths, the occasional daffodil and of course, the ever increasing clumps of day lilies.

The little plants in the starting trays are very slow to start this year, I'm trying to figure out why. Even the tomatoes took their sweet time to germinate and did so only in part, which is a first. I got many lupines, at least for now.

Judging by the way weather is behaving, I have plenty of time. I'd love to be wrong, for once, and miss starting the vegetable garden early, but I know it's not going to happen. We'll have our April fool's late freeze, it's the law of the land.

Well, at least we're getting closer to the official start of spring, if only by the calendar. It's very nice outside, if you look at it through the window. Thirty degrees and sunny, with white puffy clouds and blue skies. Winter, still not over.