(Please note: I wrote this on March 21st, with the best intentions of getting it posted. I don’t even have the excuse of a new baby or new house!)
Spring came so early, on the heels of a winter that was not
really a winter. I went cross country skiing precisely one time, patiently
waiting for that big snowfall. That wish remained unfulfilled.
Then, a warm bubble of air came and stayed, unlike the teaser
days we usually get in March. As of March 21st, we had nearly two weeks of temps in at least the sixties, and have kissed 80 once or twice.
And don’t the plants know it! The chives are five inches
high and all my early perennials are shaking off the cold and shoving up
through the soil. I see something new every day: from the early oriental
poppies to the sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ to trollius ‘Cheddar’, bright spots of green
punctuate the beds.
The forsythia bloomed on the 19th, the earliest
it ever has. Buds are visible on the lilacs, and on the 21st, a lone
miniature iris bloomed. The buds of my azalea are straining to crack the hard
shell, and the feathery leaves of the tree peony have broken forth.
Of course, many bulbs are up: I have a coolish yard, so no
crocus yet bloom. But in time, they will be there, as well as bloodwort, muscari,
daffodils and a batch of new tulips I planted. I am most excited for the
dogtooth violet I am growing for the first time. I have no idea when it usually
makes its appearance, and look for it every time I take the dog out. Dog’s
happy; she’s going out a lot these days.
I wonder if the hellebore has survived; I bought it last
year at the master gardeners’ sale. At the same sale, I bought white anemones
and nestled both among the hostas.
A long time ago, when I was a baby gardener who read a lot,
I learned that the traditional date to plant peas was March 17th. I
harrumphed; the ground’s still frozen and snowmelt doesn’t happen for weeks
around here. Until this year. I planted peas on the 18th. (They emerged about 9 days later! Oh, the thrills!)
Will it last? I have lived through enough Minnesota
springs—and summers—to know that setbacks and disappoints await, but at this
moment, it is spring, glorious spring!