March appreciated

My brain thinks I don’t like March much. Looking out at rain pouring over a taupe-loafer colored world, it’s not too difficult to understand why… The whole idea of March just seems fraught with drear and impatience and interminable, unrequited, desperate hope.

But the reality of March (aside from the current deluge perhaps) is so much more lovely. I went away for a week – not away really, I was only at home – and during that short time there were so many changes. The birds are suddenly singing in earnest – the mourning doves and redwing blackbirds are back – and nothing sounds more like spring. Dawn comes during my morning walk (at least until this Sunday); buds on trees and shrubs are swollen and a few trees – early maples – are already in bloom.

The Hellebores are waking up – stinking hellebore (H. foetidus) of course is already up and about before everyone else, like a scullery maid preparing for the day. (Who else is addicted to Downton Abbey?) The sun – when it’s out – actually feels warm now and it’s getting harder and harder to resist getting into the gardens to start cleaning up. Next week we’ll warm up to it by at least cutting back the liriope and epimedium… and we’ll see if we can stop there. Given the potential for another wild swing to freezing, it may still be a little early to uncover other things…

And it wouldn’t be March, and March wouldn’t be so great without skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) in bloom in the swamps and crocus opening all over in fluffts and drifts.

…Why we don’t all plant hundreds of crocus and snowdrops in our lawn is completely beyond me…

What are you finding to love about March?