Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's the real deal

My last post was at the end of February and I believe I went on and on about the warm winter and strange early spring. It is now the real first day of spring and can you believe it's supposed to be 76 degrees today? In Buffalo, in March? I believe it because for the last four days it has already felt like legit summer. Am I still wringing my hands about pests and bees and buds? Maybe I am, just a little, in the grumpy part of my brain, but I have to admit that I am now much too enthralled by my daily dirt inspections to worry about what this all means.

On a recent dirt walk I took pictures of some of the plants that have decided to show up early in my flower beds. Let's take a look:

This crocus is not actually super early, but it is still pretty

 The beginnings of a garden mum

One of my hyacinths

Sedum, I think?

The vinca is already flowering!

And that was just four days ago. On one of yesterday's walks around the house I discovered that my delphinium were growing rapidly--one was already six inches tall--and that my clematis was starting to come back. The forsythia is flowering. Just about every plant in my perennial beds has at least started to peek through the soil. Looking back at previous years' garden pictures, I see that most of these plants are already at the point they'd usually be two weeks to a month from now. It doesn't look like we're going to dip into super cold weather before the month is over, so I am not too worried for my little plant guys. I've allowed myself to admit that it's dirt time and I am very excited!

Now, I won't be planting anything tender until the usual last frost date; let's not get too crazy. But I don't see any harm in raking the leaves out of my garden beds and doing other cleanup tasks like pulling weeds (in March!). On Sunday we bought a little pussy willow tree to plant along our back fence, but I think I'll hold off on planting him until the soil back there de-soggifies a bit.

Is it safe to get excited? Will I complain when the temperatures dip down to the average for this time of year? Will the rabbits and squirrels eat my tulips? I'll discover the answers to these questions soon enough, but for now I will be enjoying the sun, the warmth and all the green. Happy equinox!