Sunday, March 22, 2015

Celebrating the Arrival of Spring

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."
-- Shelley

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.

Snowing again

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
Tulip, Tulipa

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?

Pamela x

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited! 
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. Pam I love that you have a snowdrop already and your tradition for spring is perfect. We are at least 2 weeks behind now and I was able to get to my willows to cut branches. Now they are blooming with pussy willows. I need to take your lead and get some bulbs growing inside to coax spring to come. Fabulous post Pam and I am so honored you are joining in again. Your support of Seasonal Celebrations makes the meme special..Thanks Pam!

  2. Looks like you are enjoying spring despite the cold and snow and having fun doing it!!! I celebrated by going to the local nursery for opening day. The carts were stuck in the snow but nothing was stopping me from buying spring plants. I enjoyed your spring tradition...enjoy all your pretty blooms!

  3. Love how you brought Spring indoors when the outside wasn't cooperating.

  4. Your first day of spring looked lovely in spite of the snow. Hopefully this will be the last of the white stuff for you.

    Happy Spring ~ FlowerLady

  5. wonderful advice from Donna. I keep wishing for warmer temperatures but perhaps I should enjoy the snow more while it lasts. I took delight in your spring display, if I can't see blooms in my own garden it's a great idea to buy some and put them indoors to enjoy. You did a lovely job collecting all those lovely plants.

  6. We have your spring and you have our snow - want to swap? lol ;-)

    Love your spring display, and how it says if Mother Nature won't give you spring, make it yourself!

  7. So good you brought the spring inside, love all those bulbs on the table.

  8. maybe NEXT weekend I can bring some potted bulbs in to enjoy. Still living in mounting chaos with the garden on hold.

  9. Pam, how exciting that have seen your first flower of the year! I've never tried snowdrops, but I might have to -- yours look so cute. And your indoor flower display is beautiful and will allow you to enjoy your spring even as snow still falls outside. Thanks for sharing your signs of spring with us! -Beth

  10. I like spring on your dining room! Beautiful pots ....

  11. My goodness, it doesn't look very spring like there with all that white stuff. Glad it didn't stop you from your spring traditions though. You've done well with your purchases and what a find that cloche was, it's the finishing touch for your violet.

  12. Spring has finally arrived here in Blighty too and it feels so good. Your snowy journey looks beautiful, you live in a magical setting.

  13. I love your farm sink. I always wanted one. It is nice spring is on the way, but I too don't wish my life away hoping it here sooner. It gets here when it does.

  14. I hope your latest snow has melted since last weekend! Ours has mostly disappeared but it seems there's one more frigid night of winter before spring tries to make another advance.
    What a nice spring tradition, I need to head out tomorrow myself and clip a few forsythia branches in preparation for Easter. The last week or so we've been blowing eggs whenever we need an omelette, we should have plenty of decorations ready to go this year!

  15. Well, that was certainly a cruel way for spring to come to your garden, with a snowstorm! But I'm glad to see that you ignored it all, and brought flowering things into your home. Here's hoping that spring will really arrive, and soon!