End of Month View: March 2017

Still frozen in time…

I discovered this “monthly meme” through another blog I follow, Carolee’s herbalblessingblog, and thought it looked like fun.  It’s also a wonderful way to track the growth and bloom throughout the garden – in photos and narrative – on a monthly basis.

Thanks to Helen, The Patient Gardener, for dreaming up and hosting this monthly sharing.   Visit her blog to find links to other marvelous, garden creations.

While many of the garden bloggers in England already had a fair amount of green and even some color in their gardens at the end of February, I thought there was absolutely no point in photographing the frozen ground under tufts of lingering snow, the untrimmed and messy remains of last year’s blooms, and burlap wrapped evergreens — the extent of what you would have seen in my garden at the end of February.  Granted, we could at least see ground, which for those of us living in northern NY was quite a gift in February, but it was most decidedly not spring-looking.

But much to my dismay, March looks the same!!  No, correction, worse.  We have more snow on the ground.

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Patio and herb bed under snow and water
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Small border on side of back porch – still no clean-up as you can see from the caged roses, dead growth from last season’s perennials, and pine boughs over the peonies 
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One of the borders in front – still a mess
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But wait…there may be some hope yet.  A few brave shoots challenging the lingering winter
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Backyard looking over the circle garden, which you can’t see, and into the coop areas
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Looking into the rose garden and beyond into the orchard and sheep pasture.  Will this snow ever leave us?  More due in this morning, but then turning to rain.  Ugh.

 

Garden update

As usual, it’s not been a stellar start to March.  The month arrived with its typical, unpleasant  fervor.  Cold temperatures — in the negatives yesterday with wind chill and a toasty -2 this morning on wake-up — with some snow showers off and on over the past couple of days.  Looks like were heading for some warmth (30s and 40s) over the next few days though, so we can all thaw out once again.  The ducks and hens will be eternally grateful.

So, as you may imagine, not much happening in the garden, except for the necessary pruning, which I will get back to today.  I pruned the young fruit trees and Japanese Willows last weekend.

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I also started my inside seed sowing last weekend, and will plant another cell pack of 50 today.  To-date, the following have been sown:  salvia (Victoria, Flare, and Fairy Queen), pinks, Sweet William, Echinacea, Gaillardia,  foxglove, 4 varieties of sweet peas and cauliflower (“Purple of Sicily” — I love the color of this cauliflower!).  I won’t sow any additional seeds for another 3 weeks.

 

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Sweet William, grown from seed, and planted last spring in the new rose garden

 

Wildlife update: the spring/summer birds are returning to the area.  As mentioned, I’ve seen flocks of Canadian Geese flying overhead, and our family of very large crows have returned, as have the starlings.  We love having the crows back.  They are marvelous watch dogs and keep the circling hawks from eating the hens!  Granted, I become somewhat less enamored with them with they start helping themselves to my edamame seedlings – apparently a delicacy in their world.  But life’s often a trade-off, right?

March has arrived

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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I always await March’s arrival with such anxious expectation, as though flipping the calendar to March 1 will suddenly release the flood gates of spring — warm sun, longer days, greening grass and spring bulbs breaking through the still frozen soil.

Of course this really doesn’t happen up here in North Country.  Even with the changing climate and the milder winters, we rarely come through March, or even April, unscathed by snow, below freezing temperatures, and freezing rain.  But I remain ever hopeful and still feel kindly towards March – even if it is fickle and stingy with its spring-like days.  It’s at least reassuring to know that, even if the snow still flies, it won’t stay on the ground for long.  An hour or two of the warm March sun will melt it away as though it never arrived.