Welcome to March

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane' 3-2-10Maybe I was too hard on March. Last week, like a miracle, a light switched on during my morning dog-walk. And today dawned with blue skies and sunshine. Maybe March isn’t going to be as dreary as I thought?

Then again, day-light savings is coming up (March 14) and will throw my morning back into the night and there’s snow in the forecast for later today and through most of the rest of the week. I guess the deal with March is that it forces us to not take any of the good stuff for granted and to appreciate every single sunny moment to the fullest. And at least the sun, when it’s out, is starting to feel warmish.

mouse ears on a quince - Chaenomeles contorta Gail and I took advantage of today’s sunny moment (which lasted pretty much the whole day after all) to search for signs of spring – it’s evident in the 4” high daffodils, emerging tulips (- got to get the deer-off on!), the red buds on maples and yellow haze of willows, and a rumor spread by a favorite visitor about a crocus blooming somewhere on the grounds. Gail cut some more forsythia – it shouldn’t take long to force, maybe a week. And we spent most of the day organizing the greenhouse and making space for seeds, which we’ll start sowing in earnest this week. (Starting with perennials, biennials like foxglove, some cabbages and kale, calendula, snapdragons… Dick’s onions, leeks, and artichokes are already coming up.)

Daffodils are upJapanese maple buds and willow haze

a giant sequoia in the barber chair Meanwhile, Fred and Dan have been diligently pruning trees and shrubs all over the property. The best time for dormant pruning is any above-freezing day before the buds break. They are not ones to wait for sweater weather, like me…

All in all, there’s plenty to work on, lots to look forward to and I appreciate a slow start to spring – and I really shouldn’t knock March (- it might knock back). Have you started sowing seeds? Are you bad-mouthing March or getting busy with the pruning instead?