Garden Diary - March 2018

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Flowers for Spring
Tuesday, 20 March 2018

When I was at Howell Living History Farm last Saturday they said they'd stopped tapping their sugar maple trees. The sap was getting "buddy," which affects the flavor. So the trees are thinking it is Spring. Some birds are sounding off with their springtime tweets and chirps. And today is the first day of Spring. It arrived early this afternoon. But I'm listening to sleet skittering across the greenhouse roof. Punxatawney Phil, that wretched groundhog, better duck and cover if I see him.

On Sunday, just two days ago, I went into the woods to look for flowers. Here's what I found.

Masses of winter aconite, Eranthis hyemalis. Difficult to establish,
the 5 or so that survive out of 25 desiccated tubers you bought and
planted will seed about, happily multiplying into a golden carpet.

hyemalis (alternative: hiemalis) meaning wintry, winter blooming in this case.

Snowdrops, Galanthus species and cultivars. Harbingers of
winter's end. I have some clumps to lift and divide. It's done
"in the green," after flowering but before the leaves wither.

Here's another early blooming little bulb.
Not a snowdrop but rather, a snowflake,
Leucojum vernum, with green tipped bells.

vernum relating to spring (the season, attributive); vernal

Perennials are also coming into bloom. Here, the dusky purple
flowers and dark new foliage of Helleborus Early Purple Group

Another hellebore, a self-sown blush pink
Lenten rose, Helleborus orientalis.

And the very charming Helleborus ×ericsmithii starting to perform.

UPDATE: The Day After

So here it is, the day after the first of Spring. Two inches of snow on the ground by 9:00 a.m. and more enthusiastically coming down. I'm not even going to tell you what the forecast is for, concerned that it will only encourage what is already being referred to as the four'easter.

Snowflakes are smaller than they were earlier, but more numerous.

Birds are flocking to the feeder: goldfinch
on left, nuthatch on right. I make up a blend
of peanut hearts, hulled sunflower seeds,
and fine cracked corn. Something for all.

And what gets spilled is also eaten. Little birds, yes, and also
mourning doves. The dark lump seen above the dove making
a landing is a little vole hoovering up seed. Chipmunks come
also. Live entertainment for the cats, who enjoy watching.

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