March has been such a tease. February was so mild I began to suspect that Chicago had been magically transported to a more southern latitude, but then March brought us back to reality with a snowstorm. Then the snow melted. However, every time I was tempted to feel a little comfort and joy in the garden, March would give me a rude poke with cold winds and a hard frost.
Today I cut back the dead plant material in the Sidewalk Border. It’s been another exceptionally busy spring at work and I’ve hired the same landscapers for this year who did the cleanup last season. However, I’m not sure when they’re coming and I was getting itchy fingers. There will still be work for them when they show up, I’m sure.
In my last post I may have ruffled a few feathers among some readers. (Or at least, feathers were ruffled among those readers who have feathers. For readers without feathers, I may have raised a few hackles. Among those who have neither feathers nor hackles, the impact of my words has yet to be determined.) In any case, what provoked this reaction was my statement that, compared to Crocuses, Snowdrops can be a bit dull.
Now, I’m not saying that Snowdrops aren’t garden-worthy bulbs, in a slightly inferior way. They are really quire nice. I’m just saying that Crocuses are better.
Native Plant Finder is an online resource for people who want to attract more wildlife to their gardens. The website is sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, with support from the University of Delaware and the US Forest Service. It draws on the work of Douglas Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home and Professor of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology.
Here’s another opportunity for you Citizen Scientists out there. Project Budburst is a national effort that collects and analyzes the observations of gardeners on the timing of leafing out, flowering, and fruiting. It was started in 2007 to document the effects of climate change on plants, and is currently coordinated by the Chicago Botanic Garden.