Today was surreal. It’s March 12th. We usually can’t even see the ground at this time of year. Yet today, I was outside working in the sun –with a flannel shirt and bogs — in 50 degrees. There is no snow on the ground — except for a few small piles in the shadier areas of the garden and along the wood’s edge — and the daffodils and tulips are already beginning to peak out of the wet soil.
On a day when I would usually be wading through snow banks to prune the fruit trees, I was walking on rapidly greening grass and removing tree guards (plastic tubes that wrap around the tree trunks to protect them from voles and mice during the winter months) as I pruned. I not only pruned the fruit trees, but was able to prune the blueberries, the Japanese willows, and got a good head-start on the raspberries as well.
Jim was working today, so I had him remove the wood covers from the rose bushes along the driveway (again, a chore that usually wouldn’t occur until late April when the ground had thawed enough to pull out the stakes, but after such a mild winter, the ground was barely frozen). I pulled the cages from around the other roses. Yesterday, he removed the plastic from around the gazebo and the front porch. I even started cutting back the perennials in the circle garden today. Good god, I’m already weeks ahead in the spring chores and it’s only mid-March!
The day was made even more perfect by the hens scratching and pecking their way around the yard with wild abandon, the ducks noisily splashing through the pools of water left from the melted snow, and the sheep laying in the pasture enjoying the sun. Flocks of Canadian geese flew high overhead returning from their winter locales. It was a glorious day.
Meanwhile, inside in the nursery, the salvia, foxglove, thyme, lavender, hollyhock and dahlias are all happily growing, and the first of the crocosmia and cauliflower seeds have germinated. I’m still waiting for some signs of life from the scabiosa (pin-cushion flower).