Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Blossoms into Summer?

How pretty is this iris?

I'm starting with a picture of one of my favorite spring bulbs - Katherine Hodgkin iris. They are small and sweet and this year popped out of the ground in about twenty-four hours. They bloomed for a couple of days and then our 70s and low 80s caused them to wither and fade. They don't usually last more than a week, but our ridiculous temperatures have accelerated everything. I'm wearing shorts! In March!

The bees are moving too fast for a picture.

The boxwood at the back door is blooming, much to the delight of bees and bugs. Some folks hate the scent, but I rather like it. This one came with the house and is some kind of Korean. It's about six feet high.

Fragrant forsythia
It is a glorious year for forsythia. The mild winter meant that flower buds were not killed off and warm sunny days sent them bursting into bloom. I'm just not used to seeing magnolia and forsythia bloom at the same time. My redbud is seriously considering flowering, too.

Early kaufmanniana tulips
I adore spring flowers, but I plant in a succesion on purpose. These are early waterlily type tulips.  However, early is usually APRIL! I like to cut daffodils and tulips for bouquets for a good six to eight weeks. Usually, I can do this. This year? All bets are off.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Signs of Spring

Look! Crocus! They're only about an inch and a half tall.

It's been a goofy winter, but I'm still glad that spring is coming. The monotony of brown is beginning to get to me, so I'm seeking out any signs of life in my garden. The witchhazel and snowdrops have been blooming since January, but now I'm seeing more little signals that spring is in the air.

The daffodils are impatient.

The snow crocus has pushed out buds and is considering blooming. My early tulips are up and so are the early daffodils. The pulsatilla has returned and may bloom this year. Buds are swelling on the trees. The chipmunks have made an appearance. Our cardinal couple is back and hopefully this time will not nest in the golden privet by the back door. They were very perturbed that we passed by every day, multiple times a day. I warned them that though it's a nice dense shrub, it's like Grand Central Station. Maybe they'll figure it out this year.

Who knows what this year will bring? Our warmer winter means not as many pests were killed off. I suspect we'll have more Japanese beetle and bagworm. The welcome back party for work was at the local VFW this past weekend and their arborvitae hedge is brimming with bagworm. The tree and shrub staff will probably swing by again, just to check it out. We're that kind of plant/bug geek.

So as today's temperatures seem set to top 60, I've unloaded the 40 pound bag of cat litter from the trunk of the convertible (It seems to help when driving in snow and if I ever get stuck, instant grit!). The rule of the roadster - if it's above 50 and sunny, the top comes down!