Fresh air and exercise

This past week was just what the doctor ordered. Sunshine and temperatures in the 50s and 60s made being up and out absolutely irresistible — for us and the spring flowers we’ve been waiting so (im)patiently for. Everything that, as of last week, still seemed tightly budded and winter-stunted is suddenly busting to bloom. The daffodils have started opening and, depending on the weather, we should see a spectacular show by the end of next week. (Alas, the beginning of vacation week looks rainy…)

This week, spring progressed so quickly that I think if we had been able to stand still we probably would have been able to see the swelling and unfolding as it happened. But our blood is pumping now too and as tempting as it is to sit back with faces to the sun watching the action, it’s nearly impossible not to be as busy as the bees. (Have you ever sat still long enough to notice that the bees working Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) carry sacs full of blue pollen back to the hive?)


In between transplanting seedlings and endeavoring to keep sweltering plants in the greenhouses watered, we fine tuned the tidy-up in the Rock Garden (spring’s sweetest showcase) and pruned the roses in the Rose Garden. The rule of thumb timing-wise is to prune roses when the forsythia blooms. I thought we were a titch ahead of schedule until I noticed the forsythia at my house suddenly out this morning. And the roses were definitely ready. Swollen buds were even beginning to break here and there. Getting into that garden and working from cane to cane we could really see how the snow overload and bitter cold of this past winter wreaked havoc on some of the plants. We’ll be replacing a few and others needed a harder pruning than usual, down nearly to the ground in some cases. (Most we prune down to within a foot or two or three of the ground regardless.)


Did spring speed up in your garden this week too? What did you and the bees work on?