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Is This Spring?

April 18, 2011 - Janet DelTurco
I suppose this happens every year, but during the nine months of the year that are not formally designated as "Spring", we forget what really happens.

A few nice days in March or April make us believe that winter is over and that all will be plain sailing (wrong metaphor!) in the garden from now on. Far from it. In mid-March I finally got busy outside cleaning up all the winter debris. There is much more than usual as I was not able to work outside very much in the fall, and for a few days it went well. I got my callicarpa moved to the back of the house, and cheered on the nice display of daffidils that were budding, planted peas and potatoes and carted a couple of truckloads of brush out to the city facility, and then came the cold and the rain once again. I cut back the ornamental grasses with freezing fingers and got rid of that mess between showers. On March 30th it snowed, and today, in mid-April, a belt of snow in Michigan was supposed to reach as far south as Toledo.

"Warm" now means upper 40s, and while some rain is a blessing, I do believe we have had enough. I got the pansies planted outside, and the sweet pea seeds are in, all the roses are finally pruned and space cleared off for all the seedlings growing in the house. The space under the lights in the basement is filled with trays of peppers, eggplant of several varieties, three colors of Dolcissima petunias, lavender impatiens and tomatoes. Vines of hyacinth bean and Thunbergia (black-eyed Susan) are climbing up bamboo poles in my bedroom window, and the kitchen and porch windows are filled with pot after pot of herbs and miniature plants for the fairy garden. What a jungle. And it takes a long time every morning to water and care for all these babies waiting for their time in the sun. Some of them go outside in the daytime to harden off, but I am losing patience.

Bleeding hearts are almost ready to bloom, and the hyacinths are beautiful. The asparagus is showing signs of life, and the buddleias showing their first leaves. I am glad I remember from previous years that the callicarpa is late to show any signs of life. I hope it has survived its relocation. The flowering cherry is showing its white buds, and will probably bloom tomorrow, and the star magnolia is opening its flowers a little more each day.

I know that spring really is underway, but please HURRY UP!


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