Friday, March 11, 2016

Approaching Spring

March 1, 2016

     Despite this having been one of the warmest Winters on record, for weeks now, it has been too cold to spend any more time than necessary outside.  Thus, the time required to walk the dog is the longest one spends in the open air, in stark contrast to the hours spent out of doors during the growing season. Understandably, those of us who prefer the atmosphere of a garden, assuage our longing by creating interior garden-scapes, or at least having some house-plants or cut flowers close at hand.
    Now, the last remnants of this Winter’s one major snowstorm, that dumped over thirty inches of snow in one fell swoop, are reluctantly melting away. Where the snow has melted, the ground is spongy with moisture, making it easier for the Crocuses, 
and Snow Drops, the Winter Aconite and the Daffodils to push forth for blossoming. Encouraged by the steadily warming temperatures, the Titmice and other local birds are trilling their most seductive songs in hopes of finding a partner to build a nest with, staking out territory in the trees and shrubs before they leaf out. In the basement “Limonaia,” the tender plants, vines and shrubs that Wintered over indoors have already begun sending out tender green shoots and leaves to greet the new season. Even our Irish Terrier, Champion Redbranch Mystic Druid, is getting in on the act, responding to Nature’s subtle hints, by waking earlier than ever to go outside, anticipating the change of clocks that occurs at 2:00 AM on Sunday, March 13. Today, he came to the bedside, whimpering to be taken out despite the fact that it was not yet five AM and still pitch black outside! We humans have responded to the increasing minutes of daylight by visiting the local Agway store – no doubt, the first of many visits this season – to get an early jump on the competition for the most desired seeds. So far, we have acquired seeds for:

Larkspur Sublime Blend, Consolida ambigua
Larkspur, Shades of Blue
Baby’s Breath, (Gypsophila) Early Snowball
Canterbury Bells
Penstemon, Rocky Mountain Blue, (Penstemon strictus)
Delphinium, Fantasia Mix
Four O’Clocks
Cleome, Color Fountain Mix
Batchelor’s Button, Blue Boy, (Centaurea cyanus)
Snapdragon, Tall Maximum Blend, (Antirrhinum majus)
Coreopsis, Early Sunrise

By way of flowers, and:

Beans, Blue Lake 274
Lettuce, Rouge d’Hiver
Italian Lacinato KALE, Nero Toscano (Brassica oleracea)
Beets, (Beta vulgaris)
Swiss Chard, Bright Lights
Carrots, Red Cored Chantenay

These, just to get us started.  Meantime, yet more snow is forecast for this weekend.

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