Weekend Garden Notes: Is It Spring Yet?
Yes, technically, it is. But it is still by no means spring-like. The ground is still mostly frozen. Yesterday was sunny, but had a high of 37 degrees F (3 C). Today is gloomy and windy, and snow is expected tonight and tomorrow.
However, you can’t keep a good (or at least an obsessive) gardener down. I did manage to spend some quality time with the garden this weekend, and made good progress on a variety of tasks.
Conducted a tour of inspection. Every gardener knows that one of the most important tasks is to walk through each part of the garden, examining with a critical eye developments (however microscopic) among the plants. Only the snowdrops (Galanthus) are blooming right now, which is at least something.
Note to self: buy some Hellebores and maybe Primula for next year in case we have another spring like this one! Also, I was gratified to see that some of the early plants – such as the Serviceberry (Amelanchier), Forsythia, and Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) – have flower or leaf buds that are swollen with determination, readying for the right moment to burst open.
Gave the flower beds a haircut. Which is to say, I cut back the dead stems of last year’s perennial growth. I got all the beds in front, and made a good down payment on the back. I’m using the approach I wrote about recently, cutting in smaller pieces and letting most stuff fall where it may.
I can see, however, that I will have to rake up some grassy areas in order to maintain even lax standards of neatness. Also, I ended throwing the Nepeta stems, which collectively were a huge stringy mass of soft brown, on to the compost. I will put some garden soil on top and hope for the best.
Hung the birdhouse. I have a birdhouse for chickadees. This year I am hanging it in the old Japanese yew. I hope it’s a good location. Watching it sway in the wind, it occurs to me that perhaps the chickadees would like their house to be a little more stationary. I know I would. Also, I thought I had skilfully hung it so that you could see the opening from the porch. Of course, it twisted away the moment I went inside.
Brought in some Forsythia stems for forcing. I cut seven stems, and they should provide some indoor cheer in a week or so.
Were you able to do any work in the garden this weekend? Is it spring only in the calendar, but not in the garden, where you are?