Monday, March 14, 2016

Dispatches

Notes and updates from mid March:

Unseasonably warm, and I spent the weekend cutting back, trimming, and cleaning up. Last winter at this time there was deep snow on the ground and no way to even get to the shed for tools.
Last year in mid March

Daffodils are blooming now. There are about 5 or 6 sunny yellow blooms on the back hill. Early!

I detected a bit of fragrance from the witch hazel in the meadow as I walked by. Sweet!

Found a tick on the bathroom floor, which means I brought it in on me. First of the season. It's only March.

Iris reticulata blooms are all open now, with a few white snowdrops mixed in. The tiny irises are richly purple and spreading among the kinnikinnik. I normally see the first ones peek up on April 1.

I took all the mesh trunk protectors off my skinny trees. The danger from male deer rubbing the bark off young saplings is well past. All the trees sighed and said thank you, thank you.

I weeded. Right now, it's all popweed, spreading lawn turf, emerging wild asters, and flat whorls of dandelion greens.

There are an alarming number of grassy clumps in the meadow that look like sedge (Carex). They have never been there before, and now I see them all over. Everywhere. I have 'Ice Dance' in my garden -- has it escaped?

My knees are raw. So much of clean up and weeding is done in damp, hard ground on the knees. Ow.

Rain this week, and we still have a backhoe on the patio, a dumpster in the driveway and an unfinished deck replacement project ongoing. Ugh.

I took the dead clumps of winter heaths out and now I need to replace them with something along the front walk. Wrestling those woody shrubs out was a job.

After all my complaining about witch hazel 'Diane', this is the first year it is blooming well. Not red, not with big strappy flowers, but there are many tiny rust-orange blooms, and they are at times backlit by the sun, which is what I had always intended. The flowers have to compete with the brown marcescent leaves, but still, I see promise.

Because the last two winters were protracted and there was snow on the ground forever, I did not anticipate this year that I'd need to do anything outside in mid March. I'm not ready for this. I still have to plan my seed sowing, I have to make lists of what I want to buy mail order, and I need to think about replacements, additions and new things for the garden. Catalogs are stacked high.

I thought I'd have all March to do that before chores and warm weather called me outside.

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