Face Book presented me this morning with a 'memory'--a link to a blog post of March 1st, 2017.
Scrolling idly through, I noted that my description of late February weather could be copied to today's post, a relevant record of the 2018 season as the calendar page is turned to March.
The same alternating pattern of chilly rain, warmer days, daffodils in bloom, has prevailed.
Daffodils are not always in bloom here at the end of February. A mild winter often witnessed the ones planted near our first Kentucky house with fat buds straining open in late January, inevitably to be blighted by subsequent frost.
Each springtime I wonder at the profusion of daffs naturalized in roadside clumps and sweeping swaths along the verge of meadow or woodland. A few escapees from a garden here and there gone wild would be understandable, but the origin of thousands of blooms statewide boggles the mind.
Local folks refer to the flowers as 'March lilies'--a term I stubbornly refuse to adopt.
We moved from Wyoming to Kentucky in mid-March, 2010, a lumbering convoy of three heavy vehicles hauling our worldly goods, eight cats and an elderly horse.
The sky was grey and an icy wind from the mountains was already blowing down the first stinging flakes of snow as we rolled onto the highway.
By the time we stopped for that first night in Nebraska an early spring blizzard had caught us up, a storm that slowed our three day journey over highways coated in varying layers of snow, sleet and ice.
On Sunday, trundling through the corner of Indiana, the persistent snow tapered to a fine mizzle of rain. Winter-browned fields were taking on an encouraging hint of green. Crossing into Kentucky in early afternoon, now only hours from our new home, I noticed here and there the clumps of yellow trumpet flowers scattered along the roadside. "Those look like daffodils, " I remarked, rubbing at the side window of the motor home for a better view.
Incredibly, this marks the 4th springtime that I have watched for the emergence of daffodils at the foot of our lane. The blooming of these sunny wildlings signals the awakening of gardens, concurrent with the cronking calls of the sandhill cranes in laboring flight overhead and the mating song of the cardinal from the stunted dogwoods on the steep slope above the retaining wall.
The Double Red Knock-Out rose has a flush of new leaves, slightly ahead of Hawkeye Belle and the nameless shrub rose at the bottom of the garden.
Clematis Candida is alive and well.
A few papery leaves and remnants of seed heads cling to the vine.
Today I planted some of the saved seeds in a container of soil--an experiment.
It has been too wet to set foot in the garden, but on two cloudy and windy afternoons I trimmed dead stalks from perennials, troweled up weeds, leaning across the retaining timber from the dryer ground below. I had help.
At any time of year I can go into the garden, not a cat in sight, and within moments feline companions arrive.
I don't know the name of the weed which is once again over-taking the iris in the raised bed. It is not one that I have encountered anywhere but in this garden. The former owner had soil trucked to this spot several months before we acquired the property and I suspect this invasive foreigner came with it. The plant quickly develops a woody stem and seems to spread by a system of tough
Grubbing, weeding, mulching, over three summers seems to have encouraged the weed, here threatening to overtake an emerging phlox.
I am close to admitting defeat with this planting area--my knees are not equal to hours of close encounters with tangled roots and the smothering growth of this nameless pest.
On a more cheerful note, all three of the potted miniature roses are showing new growth.
The roses arrived as a birthday gift last March from my son and his dear wife. They appeared as one plant, cunningly tucked into a small pot, the buds showing a mere hint of dark red.
When I decided to repot I discovered the bounty of three plants. Once the weather had warmed I moved them into large pots on the cement walk that rims the front porch.
I was concerned for winter hardiness, but trimmed the plants back and bedded them under a layer of leaves. The pots spent the winter lined against the porch wall that adjoins the garage ell.
Sunless days with pewter skies, pounding rain at night.
Days with the needle climbing to high 70's F on the thermometer outside the kitchen window.
Days of wind, sending clouds forming, breaking, re-forming across blue skies.
Today, spatters of rain and gusty wind as we arrived home from errands.
Drizzle that segued into a downpour, sheets of silver blown against the windows.
An hour later, the rain moved on.
This first day of March has been both lion and lamb, ending with sunshine on greening pastures, and the rain fed brook in spate as it follows the lane to the road.