It is, but in early April, the most profuse flowers remain the snowdrops. Squirrels love to rearrange them, but they don’t seem to eat them, and neither do the rabbits, although they did cautiously nibble on one last year.
The six weeks from mid-February to the beginning of April are very busy in the yard, but if you are not actively looking for changes, you will probably miss them.
Witch hazel is the first plant to bloom each year, sometime between the end of January and mid-February. It blooms later if early winter is mild than it does if it gets cold early. It seems to need some chill time followed by a few days above freezing in order for the buds to unfurl.
We are roughly two weeks behind where we were last year, based on last year’s photographs. Everything I mention in this post was in bloom at this time last year. The weather changes so much from year to year that I cannot tell you which year is closer to normal—or if there is a normal any more.
Weather aside, I love spring ephemera and will search for them doggedly from mid-March on as long as it’s not pouring rain. They are mostly very small, so I have to actually walk away from the window, go outside, and exercise my eyes looking for changes. Changes are rapid, so there is plenty of incentive to go outside frequently.
A couple of people I chatted with on Friday used the “s” word when mentioning this weekend’s weather. My response was “Bite your tongue!” After all, our April snowstorm isn’t due for another week or two.
I was wrong. It snowed yesterday, looking very much like an April snow. It stopped before 10 a.m. It was the sort of snow shower that causes weather people to say “It will stick to the lawns, but not to the sidewalks.” (They do still warn you to be careful driving across bridges and overpasses.)
Looking over the photos on my phone, I begin to understand why I haven’t written much this winter. I have a lot of photographs of my icy sidewalk as I struggled to keep up with it. Several years ago the city required us to replace our sidewalk, and the inspector who came out insisted we lower it. We did. There has been runoff onto our sidewalk after heavy rain ever since, but it was not a problem until last month’s weird storm. The sidewalk was still extremely warm when it hit; I took the last set of icy-sidewalk photographs on February 21, and by the following day it was melted. Finally. All that
fretting scraping and chipping gave me a chance to keep an eye on the witch hazel. Continue reading “Signs of Spring and Hungry Rabbits”
Two Mondays ago, March 8, when I went to put away my trash can, I noticed the witch hazel. I noticed it by scent–it’s a wonderful scent–a little spicy, but neither heavy nor overwhelming. The plant is a good 50 feet from the sidewalk. In the light of morning, I noticed that its flowers are all going wah hoo! The petals are sticking straight out.
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.
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.
We have been stuck in a cold and dreary weather pattern, and I have been poking around for days looking for something beyond Scilla bifolia ‘Rosea’ and snowdrops when the sun peeks out.
Early Spring Bulbs
This year, the snowdrops bloomed first. The squirrels have done a pretty good job of spreading them out.
The Scilla bifolia ‘Rosea’ have survived the extremely heavy layer of leaves that I put on their bed in the hopes of tamping down their exuberance.
They are really beautiful, but their multiplicative tendencies are positively alarming. They are blooming in the lawn under the silver maple and in a big mass under the witch hazel. Continue reading “Cloudy and 37°F. Again.”
I stepped out this morning just to see daylight, and found that there was only one small patch of snow left in my yard. We had quite a pile after the last set of snowstorms, especially in the spot where the driveway snow and the sidewalk snow were piled together.