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Sunday
Feb242019

Calling It Spring

Spring officially arrives March 20 this year. However, I am calling it spring a month early. Not pre-spring. Spring! I am aware that cruel hard frost could quickly put a damper on my enthusiasm, but I can't deny what is happening in my garden. Young perennial shoots are poking out of the earth, buds are swelling, and flowers are opening.Naturalized daffodils cover portions of the garden. They are a cheerful sign of spring.

My gardening juices are flowing like sap rising in a maple tree. Between rain storms (according to my rain gauge, 12.4" in February!) I have been outside cleaning, pruning, and weeding. Some days I feel like I am working inside a cloud because of all the moisture in the air, but the cool temperatures are perfect for gardening.

As I work, I breathe in the rich earthy smells around me and listen to a cacophony of bird song. Birds are beginning to claim rights to various birdhouses on the property. Others birds are finding potential home sites inside shrubs like Chaenomeles, known as flowering quince. Its dense, prickly branches offer good shelter for nests. It is a reliable, low-maintenance shrub with beautiful blooms:

Here are more early blooms in the garden:Clockwise from top left: Forsythia is one of the first shrubs to bloom; The original owner of our home planted these smaller daffodils many years ago, and I find them popping up throughout the garden; Edgeworthia buds are now opening completely to reveal clusters of trumpet shaped flowers; Amelanchier trees, also called Juneberry, have attractive white blossoms that last only a week or so, but are followed by sweet berries that ripen in June.

Hellebores, daffodils, camellia, and a potted variegated winter daphne complement each other in shades of pink and white:

I call these old tree logs, "Stump World." After a tornado in 1990, we rolled several huge sections of a fallen oak tree down into the woods to let them rot. They have been a fascinating study in how nature recycles itself. Today only these two remain. The plants in front are Aucuba japonica.

I always like to finish my garden day by taking a stroll in the woodland garden. As evening approached, I recently snapped a photo of the lengthening shadows:

Then I gathered my tools and began making plans for the next gardening day. 

 

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Reader Comments (13)

I can see why you think it is spring. WOW that is a lot of blooms happening here. It is so cheerful to see. We have a bit of sun today but the wind is blowing in a storm and it is cold. Have fun out there.

February 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLisa at Greenbow

Imagine having too many beautiful daffodils to count!

February 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

Wow, Deb! Your bulb display is stellar and I'm more than envious of your hellebores. I generally say that spring comes early here but I think you're well ahead of us this year. We got more rain by far than last year but nothing on the order of what you've received and, with daytime temperatures stuck mainly in the 50s for more than a month, it's been colder than usual for this time of year.

Enjoy your weather and your garden!

February 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

We too have have had warm weather for February, your daffodils are wonderful, signifying spring to everyone. I found the warm weather made the snowdrops finish quickly, they are more used to the cold and wet in February! We haven't had much rain during this last month, I even went out one day and watered the snowdrops as they looked so dry!

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPauline

Ah! shadows like those definitely say it must be spring; you don't get the same kind of shadows in winter. Great you are able to enjoy the garden and woodland so much at the moment; the amount of rain you receive sounds amazing.

February 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Those Quince blooms are stunning! I'm happy that spring is happening for you! :)

February 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ PlantPostings

Your naturalizing daffodils are beautiful and I chuckled over your 'Stump World.'

So beautiful! I'm swooning. Makes me so impatient for our winter to be over up here.

February 27, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Wow, wow, wow! You weren’t kidding, spring has definitely come early to your house. Yesterday, I found two golden crocus in bloom. I’m always thrilled when my first blooms are in February. But right now, it’s snowing! Oh well.

February 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRobin Ruff Leja

Are you OK? Seen some awful pictures of tornadoes in Alabama??

March 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

Hi Diana, thank you for your concern! We are about 2 hours from where the tornadoes came through, so we are fine. The area hit is very bad, and those people need a lot of prayer. Statistically, Alabama has more deadly tornadoes than any other state in the US, though there are other states with more tornadoes that are less deadly. The tornado that hit my house in 1990 was a less powerful one, but it gave me a deep appreciation of what these storms can do, and also what a difficult and long process recovery can be. I am always a bit nervous during "tornado season." Deb

March 4, 2019 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

Your daffodils look lovely!

We have a few clumps of daffys, but nothing like yours.

I was happily surprised to have some hyacinths return this year. They put on a good (and fragrant!) show for a couple of weeks, although I think they've been zapped hard by our current cold snap -- 18 degrees last night and about 20 the night before.

At least we have some sun now after a very gloomy winter complete with record rainfall in February.

Glad to hear you are safe and sound after the severe weather that passed through Alabama.

March 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Those daffodils are a heady sight for color-starved eyes. This is the time of year when winter gets old and I am getting impatient for the arrival of spring (which won't get here until April).

March 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJean

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