Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Spring on the march!

Dear Gardening Friends,
     Once again, we have reached that point in the calendar called Spring, when the surrounding landscape seems to change by the day, if not by the hour. Trees and shrubs that for months were dormant, drab and brown, have donned a mantle of leafy, lively green. Last nights buds are today’s blooms, in hues ranging from palest white to plumiest purple. And, the changes are not limited to the flora! Like clients with long-standing reservations, birds are returning to occupy their “suites” in the boughs, and atop porch columns! One is alerted to their presence by their singing, which starts long before the sun comes up. The ultimate eco-tourists, they can be seen, “twig-in-beak,” making their nests. They prepare their own accommodations, from renewable resources found on site, in Nature. Faced with these conditions, who among us can help but feel renewed and rejuvenated by the increased sunlight and warmth? That said, following is a portfolio of photographs of plants that recently emerged after a long Winter’s slumber in this zone 6B environ.  Look, and enjoy! Better yet, get outside, soak up some vitamin D, and observe what is growing around you! To revive a sixties expression, it is the ultimate “Happening!”
 
Spice Bush (Lindera benzoin)

Trout Lily (Erythronium)

Blood Root (Sanguinaria Canadensis)

Hepatica (Ranunculaceae)

Peach Blossom (Prunus persica)

Grape Hyacinth (Mascari Armeniacum)

Colts Foot (Tussilago farfara)

     

( All photographs copyright Everett H. Scott. All rights reserved. No image may be used, copied or duplicated without express written permission of the photographer.)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Signs of Springs Approach!

Winter Aconite

Dear Gardening Friends,
     Okay, so it snowed four inches this morning, and is still coming down, I still say it is not too soon to ask, “What signs have you noticed that indicate Springs arrival?” Here, in zone six, there is evidence both visual and aural, that Spring is upon us, no matter what today’s weather or Punxatawney Phil, (the groundhog’s) handlers may believe. This years Vernal Equinox will grace the Northern Hemisphere at precisely 6:29 AM on Monday, March 20th. On this day, we will experience equal hours of daylight and darkness, with daylight increasing until the Summer Solstice in June. Yet, signs of Springs approach abound, no matter the days weather, if only we take time to notice. All that one needs to do to perceive them is step outside! 
Snowdrops

     Even with Winter’s blanket of snow tucked snuggly under Nature’s (greening) chin, one can hear the approach of Spring in the chattering of the birds. There is an excitement in their singing; a strident urgency in their calls to potential mates. “Let’s get it on!,” they cheep and tweet. “I know a forked branch just perfect for building a nest in, lets get to it before all of the good spots are taken!,” they seem to be whistling. 
Perfect, wedge-shaped gaggles of geese, honk their way overhead in a northerly direction. Enormous flocks of Black Birds, a thousand or more strong, sweep through in controlled chaos, reminiscent of an airborne bait-ball. 
   
Crocuses
  Buds on shrubs that have sat tightly wrapped for months have begun to swell and pop open, a slow strip-tease that will reach its climax when their flowers are revealed. In the flower beds, Winter Aconite, Crocuses, Snowdrops, Poppies, Larkspur, Alliums, Hollyhocks, Tulips, Daffodils and Hellebores are once again making their presence known, after months of lurking incognito beneath the earths surface. Even the first leaves of Colombine have already appeared!
    
Hellebores
In the potager, Robins, Starlings, and Sparrows frolic amid the debris of last years garden. It is a bug-rich source of food for them. Meantime, a rabbit doe gives me “Stink-eye,” whenever I am so rude as to enter what she clearly thinks of as HER space! “Squatters rights,” she insists with a nervous twitch, claiming that her “mother, and her mother before her, all bore their kits here.
Rabbit Doe in the potager.

How dare I to chase her away?! The Collards that over-wintered are “Mine!” she declares! And, who am I to argue? She can have it, at least until such time as I am willing to commit to weeding and nurturing the new seasons crops. 
Happy gardening!


(Text and photographs copyright Everett H. Scott, 2017. No part of this blog may be reproduced, copied, or referenced without specific written permission of the author/photographer. All rights reserved.)