Monday, March 24, 2014

Signs of Spring

Helloooo, cutie pie!
We all know how rough a winter it's been in Chicago. I still have piles of icy snow stubbornly refusing to melt along the driveway. However, there are signs and signals that spring is indeed upon us. I've spotted little nubbins of green as the snow recedes among a metric ton of rabbit poop. Well, at least it's fertilizer.

I treasure my early spring bulbs as they save my sanity. I try to add more each year as the rodents take their toll. I have mixed success with snowdrops. They seem to do best when they reseed themselves. Crocus, if it escapes the bunnies and squirrels, does just fine. I have a soft spot for the tiny early ones. I'm not sure what variety the above is, but it's doing a grand job of cheering up my late winter world.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Saving My Sanity with the Help of Flowers

Life's been pretty busy, so unfortunately, I haven't been able to chronicle the slow upward spiral of late winter into spring. Oh, wait. Winter is still here. Along with a healthy heaping of snow and ice. I am on strike from shoveling. I'm obsessively watching the buds on the trees and bushes expand by microscopic increments. Spring really is coming. Honest!

As usual, I am saving my sanity and that of my friends and relatives by hauling everyone out to the conservatories in the Chicago area. We all immediately relax and breathe deeper when we set foot inside a humid glass house filled with green and blooming plants. Ahhhhhh. The shoulders unknot, smiles tug at our lips and luscious fragrance tickles our noses. Try it. It'll make your whole week better.

To combat winter fatigue, I usually force some bulbs. This year, I am thrilled to report that both my amaryllis came back! I love plants that thrive on neglect. Thems my kind of houseplant. The big Red Pearl is blooming as of yesterday. Who needs amaryllis at Christmas? I need big tropical flowers in February and March! Come here, beautiful.

This year, I potted up all the spring bulbs since days off and weather conspired against me when trying to get them in the ground. My pots of crocus and snowdrops are showing signs of life. At least the crocus is pushing up tiny leaves. I'm holding my breath for the snowdrops. They are one of my favorites.