Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Forward

Allentown Flower and Garden Show 2012
For most Americans, daylight saving time began at 2 a.m. this morning when most states sprang forward an hour. Time will fall back to standard time again on Sunday, November 4, 2012 when daylight saving time ends. The federal government doesn't require U.S. states or territories to observe daylight saving time, so some residents didn't need to change their clocks this weekend.  It was Benjamin Franklyn, of 'early to bed, early to rise' fame, who started the spring forward movement. If your are already sleep deprived, it doesn't help to lose an hour. I usually get enough sleep, but it will take me at least five days to recover from the lost hour. On the other side, this is one more sign that spring will arrive and SOON -- officially in two and a half weeks!

Another sign of spring is the spate of garden and flower shows blooming across the country. The biggest one in my corner of the world being the Philadelphia Flower Show. I was not able to go there this year, unfortunately, but for the first time I attended the Allentown Garden Show which is nearer to home, smaller, less crowded, and therefore less tiring. I enjoyed it so much, and  being accompanied by good friends added to the fun.

Entering the show at Allentown's Agricultural Hall, the first display was a water feature that included three candle-like fountains. The backdrop of forsythia and the border of lettuces added to the feeling of springtime.

There were several other water features. My favorite was the waterfall over rocks. (I marvel how these displays were put together in three days, and were taken down so soon after.)

A favorite spring flower on show was the hellebore. There was not a large variety on display, but enough to add spring excitement.

One display that greatly impressed me, put together by a high school horticulture class, showed some wonderful topiary animals, including this frog ...

            ... and the three little pigs, looking so cute tiptoeing among the tulips.

One of the joys of garden shows is gleaning ideas to implement in your own garden. I fell in love with this weeping hemlock tree and decided it would be perfect next to our pond. It is six feet tall, and it's weeping stature would provide the necessary shade we have been looking for. It is not known to shed a lot of leaves (important over a pond). There are some possible problems such as botrytis (gray mold), and woolly adelgid, so care is needed. It would, however, provide the necessary winter interest that I feel my garden lacks. I took the supplier's card, and look forward to visiting his nursery soon.

Tsuga canadensis 'Pendula' Weeping hemlock
On our way home we visited a garden center -- one that is open year-round -- and H.H. bought me a pot of daffodils ...

                                                                                       ... and a peace plant.

Spathiphyllum, The peace lily
I made a little vignette on the tea-cart in the sunny, dining-room window. (The cart has leaves I can pull out, so I did this on one side and added a bit of lace.) On the bottom shelf of the tea cart I have my paperweight collection.

Central spadix of peace lily
At the flower show I spotted that wonderful harbinger of spring, the pussy willow. There were bunches of stems for sale and later I regretted not buying some.  But my friend, Karen, brought me some from her garden and I displayed them in the white vase she gave me last year. Knowing these were grown less than 15 miles south of here, I feel spring has really arrived. Thank you, Karen.

Salix caprea Pussy Willow

A further boost to my spring feeling occurred when I saw the first robin in my garden last week. Actually, I know that the American robin stays around all winter, but this was the first one I saw.

I was happy to see the mourning doves, and to hear them 'billing and cooing.' A spring 'Welcome to you', dear friends.

Spring is in the air! My hellebores are nearly open and there is one daffodil in full bloom (so I'll have something to post for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day later this week.) Today, the temperature here in the mountains is expected to be near 60 degrees. I am going to take three soil samples (from the shade garden, the cottage garden and the kitchen garden). H.H. will drop them off at the Extension Office for analysis, so I can be sure to add the correct ammendments. Oh, I do love playing in the dirt!

Happy Gardening!
Pamela x

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  1. What fun you had at the garden show. There's no better way to get excited about the upcoming season and it's so close upon us now. Can't hardly wait.

  2. It was fun to go along with you to the garden show. The beautiful weather today, and tomorrow and Tuesday I hope, should allow me to get quite a bit of spring primping accomplished in the garden. I hope you enjoy your extra hour in the evening!

  3. I love those topiary animals! I have a fish pond, I would love it if my frog comes back this year. If not, I may look into a topiary frog! It is so nice to have an extra hour of daylight now, and I've enjoyed seeing the robins around my neighborhood too.

  4. Allentown was close to me when I lived in PA, so thanks for the trip to the flower show. I lived between Allentown and Philadelphia, so it was a toss up where to go. You mentioned not having sidewalks where you live. My uncle lives in the Poconos so that is another place I know pretty well. I plan to see family this summer and will likely be visiting your hometown. Your images of Spring are so encouraging. The robins are here too, but I feel for them with the snow we have had this past week.

  5. The topiary animals are so cute, I think it very clever how they're fashioned that way. I love the pussy willow, takes me right back to my childhood. How different the American Robin is to it's European cousin.

  6. Hello Pam, The Allentown Flower and Garden Show just what we need to whet the appetite. Our clocks spring! forward at the end of this month and then fall! back in October. I am trying to imagine you turning up for work at 9am and one of your colleagues arriving an hour earlier. naw, surely not.

  7. Pam, clicking your new blotanical leaf has made me aware of the current problems. This really is a shame, I hope it gets sorted out.

  8. It's exciting to see the harbingers of spring from robins to daffodils. I'd just love to find some pussy willows, it's been years since I've had any sitting on a table.

    Have a wonderful day,Pam!

  9. Pam, isn't it wonderful to spring forward into spring? Even with the time change, it gives us more daylight and leads us right into gardening season. I enjoyed our garden show too, but even better, I spent time in my own garden this weekend because of the warm weather. Hooray!

  10. Your robin photos are lovely. I see them mostly after a rain looking and listening for worms. A friend and I hope to get a chance to go to a nearby botanical garden to see the spring display. We missed it last year because of other obligations. I am looking forward to it. It is one of those signs of spring...Happy spring, Pam.

  11. I love the new time! I worked outside until dark and it was later than I realized! I am very tired, though. I love those little topiaries! And I like the looks of the weeping hemlock. It will look fantastic next to your pond. Lovely daffodils and pussy willow, too.

  12. lOVE the little American robin!! Lovely photos!

  13. Thanks for sharing the flower show photos. I really like that waterfall too - now if only I could get someone to install one like that in my yard for me... :-)

  14. Pam our spring (which has not even officially begun) is as strange as the winter. We are having high 60s to 70s and then 80s predicted next week. Crocus are up and gone with dwarf iris and daffs will bloom a full 4 weeks or so early...birds are back and I expect them to nest early. Peeper frogs started last night...what an unusual season already!! Love the garden show pics...

  15. I like your little vignette, it looks just right for afternoon tea with scones and jam.

  16. I love seeing pictures of garden shows!

  17. What a bright cheerful post Pam! I love the pussy-willow branches and also the pitcher vase they are in. (One day I opened the china cupboard and realized I had collected old pitchers -- I know I always keep them to put flowers in...) Those three little pigs inspire me as I face shaping up the rampant boxwoods.