Signs of Life in the Garden
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.
Consequently, spring has moved forward at a maddeningly sluggish pace this month. Daffodils are emerging singly or in clumps, their leaves like green fingers poking up out of the ground. By this time in 2015 the ‘Early Harvest’ kaufmanniana Tulips had already bloomed. This year I don’t even see their flower buds.
The free Colorblends Daffodils I planted last fall are coming up in the Parkway Border. On the other hand, there is no sign of all the Daffodil bulbs I planted in the back garden containers. We’re talking over 100 bulbs – to lose them all would be a minor horticultural catastrophe.
Anyway, this is a time when I can be seen slowly wandering the garden, looking with great intensity at what appears to be patches of dirt. But I am not looking at dirt. I am looking at new leaves coming up our of the soil. And I am looking for signs of further growth, minimal or imaginary as it may be during this cold March.
Even so, I think the container Tulips are OK after a difficult start this year. Just three or four had serious leaf damage – and maybe even those will still bloom.
The Spanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica) are waking up.
Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) is a pretty reliable early riser. I appreciate the blue-tinged leaves.
To the uninitiated it may appear also that I spend a lot of time staring at bare shrubbery stems. But actually, I am examining the progress of flower and leaf buds, like those belonging to this Forsythia.
And those of our ‘Donald Wyman’ Crabapple.
Finally, here are some flower buds of our Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris). There’s just a tiny hint of the future flowers that lay inside.
I’m linking with Garden Blogger’s Foliage Day, sponsored by Christina at My Hesperides Garden. Click the link to check out more leafy goodness at her blog.