Spring arrived on the 20th, and not a minute too soon. To celebrate, I indulged in my first-day-of spring traditions: forcing branches and buying pots of spring flowers. I decided to force some branches first, as there was a snow storm forecast for later that morning. I saw that the old snow had melted enough for me to reach the forsythia, inaccessible for weeks, at the edge of the Woodland Walk. I thought I should get out there before the route was again blocked by the white stuff. On the way, I was thrilled to find the first snowdrop, peeping through leaf debris in the shade garden. Yes, spring has arrived in my garden!
"And the Spring arose in the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
Rose from the dreams of it's wintry rest.
The snowdrop and then the violet,
Arose from the ground with warm rain wet."
I gathered branches of forsythia, crabapple, bridal-veil spirea and mock orange. I prefer to do this on the day I prune my shrubs and trees, but it was too cold for me this week with temperatures still below freezing. I would have preferred milder temperatures for today's job because when it's mild, branches and buds are more pliable and better transition from cold outdoors to warm indoors. But, despite the cold, I didn't want to break with tradition.
I added floral preservative to a bucket of warm water and set it on one side. I filled a sink with hot water (but not hot enough to scald my hands) then, holding the stems underwater, I recut each branch at at a sever angle a couple of inches above the original cut. Hot water is important because it contains the least amount of oxygen which can block water from being taken up, preventing hydration. After recutting the branches, I placed them in the prepared bucket of water and put them in a cool place. I will change the water and add new preservative each week. As the buds start to swell and burst into bloom, I will arrange the branches in vases.
|The forsythia needs pruning, but it was too cold for me!|
|I placed the recut branches in warm water containing floral preservative.|
I finished the task just as the promised snow started to fall. We left immediately for the store to look for flowering bulbs.
But first, we stopped at Tractor Supply to visit with the baby chickens and ducklings. Their arrival is a sure sign of spring. I couldn't get good pictures with my phone, but you all know how cute the fluffy little chics are. I'm still trying to persuade H.H. to let me keep a couple of hens and a rooster. This is a farm after all.
We went to two stores for flowering bulbs. The first one, Weiss, had beautiful tulips. They were in full bloom and very spring-like. I though, however, they wouldn't last long, so we tried Shoprite. All their flowers, except the miniature daffodils had buds. I bought a red tulip and a yellow one, a hyacinth, a violet, and the miniature daffs. Then I spotted a dear little shamrock that would look lovely in one of my miniature gardens, so I bought that, too -- well it is still March. Oh, and some pussy willow to put with the branches I forced.
Happy with my purchases, we headed home. By this time, a couple of inches of snow had fallen and the roads were treacherous. I was so glad H.H. was driving. We couldn't make it up the mountain road, so he had to back down and take another route. We arrived home safely!
|The mountain road leading to our farm was snow-covered and slippery.|
I watered all my purchases and lovingly placed them on the dining room table where I hope they will bring joy for several weeks, at least until I have plants (more than one snowdrop) blooming in my garden.
|Tulips, miniature daffodils, violets, shamrock, and hyacinth bring spring into the dining room.|
|Mini daffodils in an antique teapot; shamrocks in the sugar bowl.|
|Daffodil Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete'|
|Irish Shamrock Trifolium dubium|
I placed the violet under a cloche that H.H. found at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. He paid $3 or $4 for it. Great find, eh?
|Violets under the cloche.|
I watered my houseplants, too, and couldn't resist photographing the fabulous buds on my zee zee plant.
|Beautiful spring buds on the zee zee plant.|
I am linking with Donna at Garden's Eye View for her Seasonal Celebrations meme. (Click on the colored words to read other gardeners' celebrations.) I agree with Donna with my whole heart when she says,
"As I don’t want to hurry up life, I have decided to embrace each moment of each day in each season….even if it means I have to wait another month for spring to arrive in my garden."
I am too old to 'wish my life away' now. And in spite of the snow, I enjoyed my first day of spring.
How do you celebrate the arrival of spring and all it's promises?
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