How Can You Look at a Trillium and Not Smile?

Indeed. A friend asked me this when I sent her a photo of the newly popped flowers. There is something very peaceful about them.

Trillium. Photographed on May 8, 2020.

I put in a few nursery-raised bare-root plants several years ago and now have a nice little group. They are a sturdy little plant as long as you leave them alone. These are under one of my pawpaws, far enough away from foot traffic to be safe, but not so far that they are hard to see.

They broke ground about a month ago…

The trillium have erupted! They share space with Dutchman’s breeches. Photographed on April 11, 2020.

…and about a month from now they will fade, but beautifully. Trillium flowers go pink before they depart.

Unwrapping the Fig

Last year, I waited too long to unwrap my fig tree, and there was a fair amount of mold on many of the branches. This is not a mistake I would care to repeat, so this year I decided to unwrap it earlier. I went through my photographs and discovered that I had unwrapped it April 6, 2019.

My final decision was driven by the weather report. The weather people predicted rain for this last weekend in March, so I decided it was time. I don’t want it sitting in wet wrappers when the temperatures are going to be reasonable. That sounds like a recipe for mold.

The fig tree, fully wrapped. Photographed on March 27, 2020.

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March Means Snowdrops

The snowdrops were blooming noticeably by the last week of February, but they really came into their own in March.

All stages of these flowers are very interesting. I am beginning to think that I am a sucker for white flowers decorated with green—just wait for the Solomon’s seal.

At this point, snowdrops had been appearing for a couple of weeks. Photographed on March 6, 2020.

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Maintenance: Moving a Prickly Rose to a Safer Place

Rosa setigera is an early summer-blooming native with a variable growth habit. Depending on what you read, it grows from 3–4 feet to perhaps 12–15 feet. This one is certainly in the double digits. I clipped long canes from July onwards last year, and came to the conclusion that I would have to move the rose further from the sidewalk. Its thorns are numerous and sturdy; I would not want a neighbor dog or child to tangle with it. There would be yelping. There would be tears. Continue reading “Maintenance: Moving a Prickly Rose to a Safer Place”

Was This Our April Snowstorm?

It was just this past Monday that we woke up to wet snow on unpaved surfaces. It really looked like the last snow we normally get at the beginning of April, including the part about being gone by the end of the day.

The garden entrance in snow. Photographed on March 23, 2020.

The snowdrops were completely unperturbed. New flowers have been appearing since the first week of March.

Snowdrops in snow. Photographed on March 23, 2020.

The forecast for the next few days is pretty seasonable: 50ish during the day and not quite freezing at night, so the changes will continue at a reasonable rate.

Events Overtake Us All

It’s been over a month!

I have had surgery for an eye problem. Happily, my vision was much improved within a week, and it is still improving. It was worth doing, and I am very grateful to my doctor for talking me into not waiting until the end of term.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 was rumbling around in Asia as we looked on bemused by the sometimes apparently draconian governmental measures used to get it under control. 

However, it landed on our shores. We are a peripatetic species after all, and our bugs travel with us. Spring break was extended for a week, and then everyone was sent home. For our students that meant packing and moving suddenly midterm; for faculty it meant, and still means, triaging the remainder of the semester’s curriculum and figuring out how to effectively deliver it online to our stressed and distracted students.

Finally, as a country, this week we earned the dubious title of “Most Infected People in One Country.” And that’s without even knowing how many people are infected, as only the obviously ill are getting tested due to snafus and shortages.

Clearly, we need calming distractions. I shall attempt to provide a few; I took photographs in March as I grabbed odd moments here and there. There are flowers, snow, plants breaking dormancy, and garden-maintenance projects, with more maintenance to come this week. I will attempt to write up how-tos for most of the maintenance projects, as getting out in the garden is one thing we all can do as we shelter in place.

Stay well and stay safe.

Spring Is Toying With Us

After a cold end of week, it got into the mid-40s this weekend. Most of the snow has melted, but not to worry, there is snow in tomorrow’s overnight forecast. These plants will not care.

What could off-and-on snow cover mean in February? Snowdrops. It took years for them to really take hold in this little downtown yard, but the squirrels were really helpful. They rearranged the bulbs endlessly, resulting in some lovely swaths of snowdrops. They are just beginning to bloom.

The first snowdrops of 2020. Photographed on February 24, 2020.

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Sort of Winter…

I passed a neighbor’s yard on my lunchtime walk, and noticed that the Lenten roses were erupting in flower stalks. I knew I had to check my witch hazel.

Witch hazel. Photographed on January 15, 2020.

It’s blooming. Those are not the only flowers, either. At least a quarter of the buds are open. Those little petals roll up like blow ticklers when the temperature drops below freezing; a cold front is breezing in right now.

This is certainly a little early. Earliest? I am not sure. I will have to check.

Interregnum: December, the Fall Into Winter

After 11 inches of snow on November 11, things got quiet weather-wise. Winter did not quite settle in. We got less than two inches of snow in December, and just a dusting on Monday—not enough to stick to the sidewalks. So what happens in the pause, the interregnum, between fall and winter? Continue reading “Interregnum: December, the Fall Into Winter”