After a weekend of rain, about 2" total, and a very gray day yesterday, it's invigorating to see the sun this morning. We've had lots of drippy, foggy weather lately which hasn't done much for drying out garden soil or perhaps even driving the frost out of the ground. What we need now is a noticeable rise in temperature with some warmth to convince us spring will actually arrive.
Yesterday I finally could see little buds of daffodils pushing up through the soil. Well, it's about time! No great showing yet, but at least they're still alive. My chives are about 2" high, but looking as though they could use an infusion of warm weather. The horseradish root planted last year has green shoots about the same height as the chives.
The snow down at the far south end of the garden next to the woods line is always the last to melt. But considering only the very tip-tops of these haskap berry bushes were visible for most of the past winter, you can see that about three to four feet of snow has melted.
These are the last of my yellow onions from last season. I still have about 1/3 of a milk crate of red ones in the basement, but a few of them are starting to show healthy sprouts. Darn. Not much to do because they have a way of knowing when it's (technically) spring and they have the urge to start growing.
This year for the first time we've had a small "pond" form in the middle of our backyard/driving area. This morning we can tell it's decreased in size considerably (maybe the frost is coming out of the ground) from what it has been. But why did it appear this year? I suppose the frost in the ground formed in a different configuration? At any rate, it does seem to be going away, but we may end up having to fill in a low spot when all is said and done. It was a sight to see this weekend when a gorgeous Wood Duck landed in the puddle and tried to paddle around. We also have seen a pair of Mallards and what we think are Bufflehead ducks (not sure of that identification) on our real pond. All the ice has left the pond and the run-off from the hills behind us has filled it to about a quarter inch of flowing over the overflow! A darn sight different than the pitiful puddle it shrank down to last summer.
We have one of the new landscaping berm boxes finished. (Thanks to our daughter's carpentry skills and effort.) Pictures will be coming soon!
Could it be... is it possibly... spring? I don't have chives anymore, but I remember going out and snapping off the first little shoots just to smell them. -Jenn
And our daffodils (back home) are finished. Have our seasons been this separated in the past? I don't think we were early in Oregon, so maybe you ARE laster this year!
Oh wow! What a difference our seasons are. Here our daffidils are done for the spring, and we too just had a ton of rain. In fact, there was a tornado warning last night.
Jenn - I find the very best chives I can cut and freeze for use throughout the year (and I preserve and use a bunch of them!) are ones taken from the very first growth . . . when they get to a big enough size. So I watch them like a hawk and am eager to cut them at what I find to be just the right time. They're my first garden harvest!
Michelle - We are a smidge late this year (seems to me), but you always have and photograph so very many spring blooms that we simply don't have until a month, or even two, later. 'Tis amazing how different our seasons are, isn't it? :o)
Kristina - I think your location may be a bit south of what we had back in Illinois, but I always will remember that our tulips there were completely done and I always put annual flowers in that bed at the end of April. Here the tulips are just barely poking through now!
What is it with Wood Ducks and small puddles? They do the same here. Good to know your snow is melting and sprouts are sprouting. Won't be long now! And yes, those onions know. Mine are sprouting to, potatoes not so much, just tiny sprouts, and will be perfect for planting in a week or so. Really looking forward to your new landscape pictures.
Rosalea - Wish we could think of planting our potatoes in a week or so as you are, but it will be longer than that for us! Our forecast promises some "warm" weather today and tomorrow but more rain over the weekend again. Such is spring!
I watch a USDA type site that records soil temperatures. We have been below average all spring long. Then, our 10 year average curve popped back up to where it should be. Now, if the air and sun will come along, we will be in business!
I'm going to try direct sowing onion seeds this year. Plants are not available at the store, so what the heck - I'll give it a go. Have you ever tried this?
Tim - I worked in a couple of my raised beds today (Friday) and was surprised to see that the soil felt warm a couple of inches down. So I planted some onions! I'm kinda ashamed to admit I've never tried growing onions from seed. I always purchase the onion sets (little bulbs) and have had great luck with them. But just in case I am unable to get the sets some year, I do keep a back-up supply of seeds. Don't you have to start the seeds inside way before transplanting them outside?
I'm glad you have a lot of birds. I *just* put up the hummingbird and oriole feeder. I've been waffling, as one group says not to so birds don't gather to spread bird flu, another says go ahead - well fed birds have better chance of surviving it. After that hummer gave me the stink eye, I put it up. One thing I've noticed - we don't have nearly as many doves as we did this winter. I'm hoping it's due to scattering for nesting season, not that they've been hit that hard by the flu.
Yay for a full to the brim pond, especially after it got so low last year. My plants seem late this year too (Iowa) hostas are just poking out now, OTOH the fern leaf peonies look like they'll be blooming shortly. They always do bloom much earlier than "regular" ones. I don't have much for spring flowers, unless dandelions count.
JustGail - We don't put out our hummingbird feeders until the 15th of this month. Unless we see an early bird (pun intended) and then we scramble to get him/her some much needed food after the long journey back up here to the north woods. 'Tis curious to hear some of your plants in Iowa, where it should be much warmer than it is for us up here in northern Minnesota, are slow to get going this year. We've yet to see our first dandelion, but I know they will come!
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