Thursday, April 7, 2011

One Spring Seems Like Another

I have come to the conclusion that spring is a creature of habit. Looking back to other springs shows exactly the same things, the only variation seems to be the date certain things show up.
I was looking at a blog post from a year ago.....other than the date being different, it could be a day from this year.
Finding something new and original would seem to be a challenge.
Not to say I don't appreciate the sure signs of spring! Who wouldn't be encouraged by the various groups of crocus blooming brightly..........
....or the precocious noses of the Crown Imperial Fritillaria.

April finds us in seed starting mode. We have cut back on the number of seeds started each year, but still have the herbs, vegetables and flowers to deal with.
Every year I update the file that is my "planting calendar" and add the fresh entries for a new year. Excel makes quite a useful organizational tool.
This file has been with us since ~2001. It is quite an interesting archive to check on varieties and performance. Depending upon how diligently I have entered information in any given year, sometimes a mystery will be solved. The page below is from 2010, and the similarities are striking. It seems the peppers are a bit pokey this year.

We often come upon a plant somewhere in the garden that have forgotten details, whether it be a source or a year it came into being.

The planting tray is sitting on a little heating pad as a trial. It was given to us by a friend who didn't really use it. 

Other years we just placed a seeded tray, covered in a sheet of plastic, on top of the lighting fixture ballast. the bit of heat effectively provides bottom heat. The seed trays get moved to a position under the lights just as soon as there are signs of germination. These are not especially wonderful pics....I should have taken them NOT under the fluorescent lighting.

I try to get myself into the "mode" of checking these each morning.
I suspect we were a bit spoiled by the lovely early and comfortable spring we had last year. This year seems very slow in comparison. Lots of crocus are blooming and every bare spot shows some sign of emerging growth. I'm always a bit impatient to see the emergence of newly planted bulbs, but most of those are in a fairly cool spot in the gulley bed extension, so they won't be fast.
We found some evidence of breakage in some rhododendrons, but not too bad overall. More will likely become apparent as we do more wandering about. I found this broken down branch in the 2002 nursery bed.

A walk around yesterday did show a great deal of snow had retreated, but we still hadn't been down the hill at the extreme rear of the garden.
It is a cold, windy day today, not really conducive to much wandering about.

The suspicions of a  Witch Hazel in bloom down there were verified by another walk.
This was taken from the bottom of the hill looking up, not very good walking here. 

There is one plant of a supposed contorted willow of some type that Bill grew from a cutting. It currently has catkins. 

This group of white crocus obviously didn't think there was enough sunshine today; a thought echoed by everyone.

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