Set backs and springs forward

daff cam 4-1-10It’s not often that little Rhody makes the national news. By now most of you have probably already heard that we just had a “100 year flood”. (Only we’re not supposed to call it that. – It’s just that the flooding here was worse than any on record. Ever.) The first rainstorm last week, while I was away, already set us back a bit in the gardens. It was too squishy-wet for Gail and the volunteers to prune roses or cut back perennials without compacting the beds and then this week was a washout. Literally.

Much of Bristol was under water on Tuesday, mostly because storm drains couldn’t handle the deluge, but compared to other parts of the state we were on the lucky side. All things considered, I’m happy to report that Blithewold didn’t fare too badly. The major damage was to our paths, which became a network of grand canyons. Visitors beware: the Shrub Walk is CLOSED until further notice.

The Shrub Walk river canyon on 3-30-10

Not only have the grounds become a slippery slope (everyone, please be careful walking around the grounds!) but spring seems to be suddenly sliding along at a prodigious rate. No fooling, the daffodils are refusing to wait for Daffodil Days (April 10 – May 2) and that’s why I included my first Daff Cam shot of the season at the top of this post. We’re hoping that they hold off peaking until at least the 10th. I’ll keep you updated.

Cornus mas (Cornelian cherry) 4-1-10Salix chaenomeloides 'Mt. Aso' - prettier than ever 4-1-10Magnolia x loebneri 'Leonard Messel' starting.a Knock-Out rose leafed out around last year's hips

Spring is coming along so quickly that I’m suddenly feeling a little panicked. The roses broke dormancy last week – right on time with the forsythia, which is a good week early as compared to the last few years. I’m desperate to get the roses pruned so they start sending all this good early energy into only the strongest canes. We still have a lot of perennials to cut back too and it’s so much trickier to do that when the new growth is growing gangbusters and getting in the way of snips. Not only that but now that spring is here and there’s everything to do all at once, I’m worried that in my busy-ness and hurry to catch up on the work I’ll miss my favorite season altogether. It’s an occupational hazard – but hopefully preventable. I want to hold onto each moment and see every unfurl. So with the sun set to be out all weekend, I plan to put my own brakes on and take as much of it in as I can. You too?

the sun streaming into the greenhouse - a welcome change from rain.

Do you worry that spring will go by before you can fully enjoy it? Maybe an early start to spring means it will linger longer? We can only hope…