Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wait! Is Winter Over? I am not ready for spring yet!


It’s raining again.  The Pacific Northwest is  famous for gray skies and drizzly rain.  Although we could really use a big winter storm that would dump lots of snow in the mountains, I am grateful for this past weekend.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue and the temperature was a balmy 50 degrees fahrenheit.  
 

In the past couple of weeks, I have been in a bit of a panic. It seemed that all the dry weather was occurring during the week while I was at work. I hadn’t done my winter chores.  
Hellebore (Helleborus sp.) are starting to sprout and I haven’t cut back the dead and scruffy leaves. Weeds are starting to pop their ugly little heads out of the ground and take over the flower and vegetable beds.  Some of the shrubs are starting to bud up. What’s going on? Is spring starting?
 

As I walked around the garden, I saw lots of signs of spring. Some of the spring camellias, which generally don’t flower until March have already put out a few intrepid blossoms.  Witch Hazel ‘Jelena’ (Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’) had unfurled its thread-like petals, sending waves of a delicate fragrance around the garden.  I noticed that the flowering quince 'Apple Blossom' (Chaenomeles speciosa 'Apple Blossom')  was sporting fat, pink buds among the sharp thorns.  The mahonia (Mahonia x media 'Charity') in the photo below is just about ready to bloom.


With two full days in the garden, I was able to get the compost pile turned, spreading the well-rotted material on the freshly weeded beds. I cut back all ratty or dead foliage on the perennials and raked the gravel paths just to make the garden look a bit more neat and tidy. Even though it feels like spring, I know we could get another cold snap, hopefully with snow, so I'll leave cutting back the rose and raspberry canes and other pruning tasks for a few more weeks.

Now I can walk around the garden with a cup of hot coffee and check out the new, baby plants sprouting fresh new stems and leaves.

How about you? Are you ready for spring?

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