March came in a little bit lion-like with gusty winds and cold; it went out like a lamb. We had a couple of snow showers early in the month, then cold nights, a few milder days, and rain. I began my daily walks around the garden to see what is blooming. The snowdrops lasted well into the month, followed by my pretty crocuses -- I showed pictures of them in my last posting HERE. Hellebores and daffodils are strutting their stuff. The daffodils are a full two weeks earlier than last year. Daylilies, allium, peonies, and bluebells are all displaying their first green shoots. There are buds on the lilacs. Violets and forget-me-nots are leafing out. When I step out on the deck at sunrise, I am greeted by birdsong -- not the full dawn chorus, but a joyful start to the day. Spring is in the air.
Today, is rainy with temperatures in the 40s, so grab an umbrella and let's take a stroll around my end-of-March garden:
|One of my favorites: Snow crocus (Crocus chrysanthus)|
|The deer were busy and ate all but this little crocus bloom in the Pollinator Garden.|
|The Daffodil Walk's blooms are very early this year.|
|It rained a great deal this month, but I am I glad to say the rain garden is working well. It collected water, preventing it from flowing into the perennial bed next to the Kitchen Garden.|
|Rhubarb in the Kitchen Garden. The beds are too wet for planting yet; they are a sea of mud.|
|Hellebore, daffodil, and vinca.|
|Two of the hellebore beds in the Woodland Walk loaded with flowers. The shrub next to St Francis is Japanese andromeda (Pieris japonica 'Mountain Fire').|
|Hellebore (Helleborus sp.) along the Woodland Walk trail. One of the few not trampled or chewed by the deer there.|
|I get outside as often as I can to continue the cleanup. Still a lot to do. Also, Duane and I take a walk around our fields for exercise when the weather allows.|
|The weeping Norway spruce (Picea abies 'Pendula') grew beautifully shaggy this year. It reminds me of my mini horse, Dude, taking a drink. Dude's coat grew very shaggy through each winter. I miss him so.|
While it's too wet to plant outside, or even prepare the Kitchen Garden for sowing/planting, I compensate with my indoor garden: we have been harvesting the lettuce in the AeroGarden, I started some kale to transplant into the coldframe, and I forced some forsythia branches.
|The AeroGarden is very productive|
|Seed starting has begun. This is kale on a heat mat in the kitchen. I'll place the seeds under a grow light when they germinate.|
|A little bit of spring on the dining room table.|
Backyard birds are busy. A pair of Northern cardinals spend most of each day on the porch. At dawn the male sits on the back of the garden swing before joining his wife who scratches in the foundation bed. They love the perches that Duane placed near the feeder and water dish.
|Top: Male Norther Cardinal Bottom: his pretty wife|
Duane and Dave finished constructing the animal shelter in the paddock. I didn't think we needed one as the animals have a dry stall in the barn. But the boys love it.
|Billy Goat and youngster Doodles wait in the sun for breakfast.|
|Charm and Doodles -- always looking for warm, sunny spots.|
Did you spot the owl decoy on the paddock fence? It is facing the pond and, so far, keeping the hawks from preying on the fish. Unfortunately, it's also keeping the little birds away. I used to love to watch them splashing in the water.
I'm linking with Sarah at Down By the Sea for her monthly retrospect, 'Through the Garden Gate.'
Adapting to the new normal, life in the time of coronavirus, is very challenging for everyone. Staying at home, however, doesn't mean staying indoors; gardeners find solace in their gardens. Please, dear friends, care for each other, stay healthy, and enjoy your gardens.
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