Thursday, April 17, 2014

Indoors, Outdoors

The heavy rain on Tuesday turned to snow. Temperatures plummeted, and for the past couple days it has been very cold. Well below freezing at night, and bitterly cold and windy in the daytime.

The sun is out today, but after breakfast, when I want to get outside and start working in the garden, it is in the 30s and unpleasant despite the strong spring sunshine.  It will warm, but only into the 40s today.

Inside, my seedlings are getting impatient. Starting them in the warm bedroom, under lights, has been great, but it's still weeks to go until the last frost date when I can plant them. They will have to stay in their pots for three more weeks! Some may be blooming by then.

I googled last frost dates for my zip code, and the last frost for here is May 10, which is about right. 

Zone 5 B, officially, although some maps show us as zone 6.

I am particularly concerned about the morning glory vines. I don't have sticks or supports big enough for them in their little pots and they are vining wildly already.

Outside, the star magnolia opened its first blooms a few days ago and they were immediately battered by warm winds. Then it snowed, and the nights got bitter, turning them limp and brown.

There are still some tightly closed buds, so if the temperature abates by the time they open, I may still see a starry white profusion of flowers on this pretty shrub. It's gotten to be a nice shape now.

As the day got up into the high 40s I did get outside and did some jobs best done in cool weather: I turned the compost row (achy body!), then used some of the nice turned moldy stuff to put around the blueberries in the field.

In the chill air, it was nice to see bright yellow Cornus mas blooming, unaffected by the subfreezing nights.

Did some more edging around the trees on the east side, trimmed the willows, raked the brown mess of persicaria, that kind of stuff.

We got 4 yards of 50-50 soil and compost from Envirocycle today, so that will get spread under the willows shortly. It's sitting on a tarp in the driveway now. Jim will help with moving it and spreading it over the next few days.

Still much to do. . . . 

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