With a fast start after a warm winter, the birds are scratching, singing, and suggesting I pay attention. I am. There’s a feeling of joy. They feel spring; as do I. The temperatures may not say spring, but the songs do.
In my garden, Helen’s Haven, everything is two to three weeks behind. What already would have phased out in years’ past, are just now in their prime. Do I need to think of this as a good thing or just something I need to accept? In a way, I enjoy winter’s bounty–berries, flowers, bark, and structure–so I don’t need spring to come too early. But with this delay, I’m ready for spring now. The daffs are peaking in the meadow garden and the Veronica peduncularis ‘Georgia Blue’ is still bright blue, typically both will welcome me on my birthday in early March.
Tulips are pushing their way through the cold soil, both in the ground and in terra-cotta containers. The ornamental purple-leaf plum (Prunus cerasifera) is still blooming strong. I even waited to plant carrots, parsley, and Brussels sprouts. I’m not even sure if the bluebirds have nested yet. They are around making like they are, but I’ve not seen any settle in. The winter Daphne has finished up, but I like the look of fallen flowers. The yellow of the ‘Hillside Winter Gold’ is still glowing, making a great photo op with the red birdhouse in the background. Flowers of the Edgeworthia are busting yellow and smelling heavenly. Sitting on the back porch, right next to a mature brush, is a prime spot right about now.
The mulch is down making everything look fab-u-lucious. What a pleasure it is to see it on the ground, keeping my perennials and shrubs toasty warm. The mulch helps heat the soil for plants to emerge sooner. Recently, I was in the Northern Neck of Virginia traveling with a friend, staying at her brother’s planned community. The HOA just came through to apply new triple shredded hardwood mulch. I’ve put down hundreds of loads of that for clients over the years, and grew tired of the smell. Since I now only use composted leaf mulch, and I haven’t installed other mulch for clients for at least five years, I forgot about this distinct smell. It’s not bad, and certainly not offensive like some people find composted leaf mulch. I’ve decided that I don’t like it, though, and prefer the leaf mold. It’s earthy and rich, and attractive too. Better for the soil, as well. Each year after the annual application, my garden is at its prettiest, even with little filling the beds.
The weeping cherries are just beginning to show their magic. Both Prunus spp. ‘Snofozam’ also known as snow fountain, a white selection, and the standard pink Prunus subhirtella pendula are just opening and making me very happy.
The peonies have cleared the ground. Each year, I’m amazed how quickly peonies go from breaking ground to blooming. It’s a feat that often seems impossible, but the pattern has taken place for so long now, I’m beginning to believe it.
The chickens in Tiny Tara are believing it is spring, as well. Each day there are gifts left to me in the form of very pale pink or beige and a baby blue eggs. I don’t take this for granted, nor do I ignore spring and all the ways she sings to me each day. Seeing April for another year brings me joy, and I hope by my sharing this joy, I bring a little to you, too.