Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Moody Kind of Spring

One minute it's hot, the next it's cold. Welcome to spring in Ohio. Overall, it's been a little colder than usual. But it's hard to compare, because we tend to think about that crazy, warm spring we had last year. That definitely was not the norm. Since I can't depend on the weather to be reliably warm, I make sure to take advantage of the nice days. In other words, housework takes a back seat to yard work and garden exploring. But you know what? That's pretty much always true with me.
Spring is so downright colorful, isn't it? The world blooms in candy colored flowers, with a new sweet surprise showing up every day.

One of my favorite parts of spring is when the fall planted bulbs pop up. Often times, I forget planting them till they appear. And it's always a delightful surprise. I call these checkered lilies, but I know they are really a Fritallaria meleagris.
Pulmonaria saccharata ' Mrs. Moon' is more commonly known as Lungwort. It doesn't make a very big showing, but the spotted foliage and the multicolored flowers make it fun to enjoy. The rest of the summer the foliage fades into decline, but it's small and barely noticeable. 

 I love plants that give me freebies. In other words, plants that seed themselves around are most welcome. Jack Frost brunnera is one of those. I assume they are related to forget-me-nots since they look so similar. Note to self, move this back further into the shade so they don't burn up in late summer as usual. 

 I'll gain more freebies from my hellebores. Seedlings are everywhere this spring, but so tiny that I have no idea which variety is which. I guess I'll find out later on. I'm not sure why this one decided to face up, since most of them face down towards the ground. 

 Of course much of my spring color comes from the addition of candy colored pansies. It's a flower I just can't do without in spring. By spring time, I'm dying to see some color but the frost free date is still too far away for safety. Enter the common pansy, who doesn't mind a bit when the nights get chilly. They just bloom on and on till it gets too hot out. By then, I'll simply swap them out for brightly colored summer annuals. 

 And so it goes. Spring is so easy to love, even though she can be a bit moody. The flowers are ever so welcome after a cold, gray winter, and the green leaves and lawns are a balm for the eyes. Welcome anyway, you moody Miss Spring! 


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Much to Love

April is a much loved month. I mean, who doesn't love it? The world wakes up from it's winter slumber, and everything is renewed. Green is the color of the day, along with the whites, pinks, purples, and yellows of every flowering plant.

There may be a few chilly days, and some areas may even see the occasional flake of snow. But for the most part, April will be increasingly pleasant as it wears on. It begins to softly warm up day by day. The sun shines more often. And new blooms are an every day affair.

In April, you don't dare miss a single day in the garden. You must at least take a daily walkabout, lest you miss even the smallest new arrival.
Every new blossom is celebrated. My camera is in constant use, because each new flower must be recorded. After all, this blog is mostly meant as a garden journal for me. If I photograph each flower as it arrives, I can more easily compare from year to year.
Yes, there is much to love about April, so take it all in, and enjoy every minute!

Monday, April 8, 2013

I Made It

I did it. Another winter has gone by, and it finally feels like spring! I suppose I shouldn't think about winter as simply a season to be gotten through. Moving somewhere warm would solve that issue, but that's a thought for another day. All I know is spring has arrived. Thank goodness!

I broke out the sandals for the first time, an annual spring landmark for me. Usually I can wear them in late March, but not this time. The official date was April 7, mark it on your calendar.
It was warm enough to garden without a sweatshirt or jacket this weekend. That's when I know it's really spring. The breeze is soft, not harsh. When the sun shines, it's actually warm. I can hear the birds sing again. All of these things point to spring.
There's one more important marker of spring, of course. The blooming of the spring bulbs is celebrated all around garden blog land. So why should I be any different? It's time for crocus and daffodils and hyacinth and hellebores and primroses and all the other early spring flowers that warm the heart and the spirit.
Yes indeed, we all made it through another winter. And spring is our prize.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Slow Start to Spring

Someday soon, it will actually begin to feel like spring. If only that someday would get here a little faster! I do think we are done with the snow, and the deep freezes have eased. But it's still very chilly. The wind blows cold, even when the sun shines. It's disheartening, to say the least. Fortunately, some of my blooms just got tired of waiting for warmer weather, and bloomed anyway. 
I'm so glad they did. These little blooms give me hope that spring is really on it's way.

The weather is ever so slowly getting warmer. Now I don't normally think of 47 as a warm spring day, but it's a whole lot better than the 30's we had just last week. By the weekend we'll see the 60's. Now THAT will feel like spring. 
So it may be a slow, slow start to the spring, but I'll take it anyway.