Partly springy

Given that I lost patience with winter way back in December, I’m pretty excited to notice that despite weekly storms and another overnight icing of a wintery mix, spring is starting to win the tug of war. When the sun is out – and the wind isn’t blowing a gale – it’s warm enough to bask a little. Everything is dripping, the ground is squishy, and the birds are singing love songs. Looks at least partly springy out to me. I know I’m probably jumping the gun a little because March is usually disappointingly March-like but I can’t help it. I’m just so ready to see spring in the smallest signs.

The biggest sign of spring is easy enough to see – and feel: the sun is finally high enough in the sky that the greenhouse is getting cooking. By mid-morning on a sunny day over the last couple of weeks it has become so deliciously summer-like in there we have had to strip off sweaters and scarves and squint or put on sunglasses. The plants are responding to the extra light and heat by outgrowing containers, blooming away, and becoming susceptible to infestations. – Aphids and whitefly seem to love spring as much as I do. So we and a handful of volunteers have started taking sunny opportunities to keep up with the grooming and leaf washing. (We’ll try to rotate all the garden volunteers in for a vitamin-D fix.) I have followed the sunbeams around my house to do the same thing… And today Gail and I started emptying benches to make room for more plants because we’ll start some seeds this week. If that isn’t a sure sign of spring, I don’t know what is.

Missing February bloom day is my excuse for posting some gratuitous sunny greenhouse flowers (clockwise from top left): Everyone thinks this camellia (unnamed) is a double hibiscus – it’s that tropical looking. Amaryllis ‘Zombie’ has been on a blooming rampage since December. The blue Marguerite (Felicia amelloides ‘Variegata’) is also unstoppable, and completely unbothered by insects. And even though the Spanish shawl (Centradenia floribunda) will quit blooming by summer it’s worth every inch of its bench space for the flowers now.

Is it partly springy in your garden yet? Are your houseplants going nuts? When will you start your first seeds?