Since I haven’t really been outside since November, a couple days of sunshine felt mighty good. Crocus, reticulated iris and snowdrops blooming. Fritillaria, pushing thick frilled stems out of the ground, smell skunky and ripe already. All seven plants will begin blooming in a few weeks, their ruffled orange crown-like flowers held high, wafting their stinky smell proudly across the land.
Raking straw and mulch to reveal rich, black earth is the best perfume. Planting onion sets, shallots, radish, spinach and kale the no till way. I’ll wait awhile on potatoes.
Who has survived this long, cold season? Tree peony are you there? I send you thoughts of life. Elizabeth magnolia? My creamy yellow beauty was nipped in the bud last year so this year we can only hope.
Winterburnt yews. I’ve been growing these out to their natural shape after years of someone else’s shearing and ‘meatball’ pruning. I can remove the damaged areas now and new growth will return fresh, green, fluffy. Sheared yew have nothing in reserve as stored food for recovery since only a thin shell of green is allowed to grwo on the outside. Many of these will be lost.
My poor bedraggled Dwarf Austrian spruce seems to get hit every year and this year one side is all red, winterburnt and bald. Still I don’t have the heart to remove her. I shear a bit to stimulate new growth and decide to appreciate her irregular growth habit in a world of expectations of perfection
Garlic mustard, bull thistle, box elder, Siberian elm seedlings sneaking in, make me relinquish my desire to give up herbicides. One quick, discreet squirt of Roundup on baby invasives this time of year prevents years of seeds, competition, allelopathy, shade and regrowth.
Mother elder is healthy and sprouting all over. I’m looking for a small one to dig and pot, to trade with a friend for a Paw Paw tree. I cut back the long canes and make cuttings which root amazingly easily. I stick a few 8″ pieces in pots with a node below the soil and water well. Roots will form from the buds at this node area. Other pieces I simply stick in the ground along the creek. A few years ago I stuck about 8 cuttings along the creek and 5 plants grew as a result, not bad for a simple stick in the ground.
Red and white oak trees from saplings planted over the past eight years ago are growing well. I’m so happy to see one old white oak friend now over 6′ tall and well branched. These oaks were donated by the Legacy Foundation whose goal is to plant a million oaks. I have at least seven my yard! In fifty years they will stand tall and strong and be much appreciated by the next caretakers of this yard
A lone white crane circles above looking for open water, and perhaps a mate, in the marsh next door. An ancient sound, her croaking call.
Spring roars in with the sound of a Harley, instead of a lion, in Wisconsin!