Saturday, March 15, 2014

Encouraging Signs of Spring

The wind blew all day on Friday after chilly temps on Thursday night, although 
we didn't have the predicted frost.
I had errands to do and some cooking, and wasn't inspired to stroll about in the brisk wind with my hair being whipped into my eyes.

Saturday evening came on with the warm glow of sunset casting shadows over the backyard. 
The sliding door was open and cats lolled on the steps.

The boy cats with their full outdoor privileges raced about, leaping over each other, pouncing and thumping.
The red buds of the maples are swelling and signs of renewed life are stirring in the flower beds.

Last season's clumps of lemon balm which still showed green in December are dried and brown, but today I found this self-sown lemon balm at the very edge of the herb garden.  Its not where I would have planted it, but I think I will honor this hardy volunteer and let it grow in place.

In the back corner of the herb garden is this foxglove which I grew from seed last year.
There were two--the other was dis-interred and trashed by the cats before it was rooted in.
This is rather a dry spot so probably not the happiest site for foxglove--perhaps I will find a better 
home for it.

A few of my lavenders are showing life. Several look rather hopeless.
I believe this is one I started from seed.

Another lavender, brown about the edges, but hopeful.

Sadly this is the only bit of thyme showing any life--just a few sprigs on what is otherwise a wiry pile of stems.

Distinctive pebbly leaves of common sage.
My Amish neighbor, Delila, stopped by on Thursday for a spool of quilting thread.
She noticed this sign of life.
Delila helped me create the herb garden in the spring of 2011.
The tri-color sage and purple sage have either not broken dormancy yet--or are as dead as they appear.
In past gardens I have found the common sage to be the most cold-hardy.

The tree lilies are bursting out of the ground.
How big should the 'babies' be to transplant?

Another tree lilies and its offspring.
This is also a great view of the dominant weeds.

A very vigorous clump of catnip flourishing beneath the Double-Red Knock-Out roses.
I picked a sprig and brought it inside to Teasel-cat--her "tea."

It seems that I brushed the plant enough to send the enticing scent of catnip into the air.
This is a zoom shot of Charlie who hurried to enjoy the fresh nip.
Around him is the mat of weeds which invade all my planting areas--a native lamium and something with a very tiny bright blue flower.
I grubbed at patches of this in the perennial strips this week, but the soil was too wet and cold for 
successful weeding.
I moved the peonies from the strip behind the clothesline.
There should have been 5--I found only 4 and one of those appears stressed beyond recovery.
With each hard rain, the center of that strip is brutally washed.  Last summer's torrents cost me several newly planted 'pinks' and  my signet marigolds. 
There are a half dozen seed-grown yarrows and two Shasta daisies left there--I'm considering whether to move them and let the grass take over.
So much for my thought of flowers to enjoy while pegging out the wash.

Bobby Mac rolling about in the driveway--did he--or did he not--have a whiff of catnip?

Daylilies along the front porch have perked up in the 3 days since I raked off dried leaves and debris.

The ever faithful Willis is a great help in yard clean-up.

The silvery 'kitten's on the goat willow are already taking on the blush of pale gold that presages their advancement to catkin stage.
There will yet be days of chill and rain and wind, but spring is steadily advancing.
This morning I heard the burbling trill of redwing blackbirds; the robins and bluebirds are busy.
Each phase in the unfolding of a season is familiar and yet so very fresh.
I want to throw my arms wide to embrace it all.
I want to shout, "Wait!  Don't rush past--I need to savor this for another day!"


  1. I heard two robins yesterday and all I could think was that it was too soon and too cold for them. I feel sorry for any bird here as we are still on a roller coaster ride with winter weather. Not a sign of Spring yet except in our homes where we have no patience anymore and are bringing out reminders of a new season. It must be wonderful to see herbs peaking out of the ground. I can't wait. Give all those gorgeous cats a hug for me. Deb

    1. Deb; This has been a harsh cold winter by Kentucky standards. We've needed to keep reminding ourselves that we have endured the real thing in our native Vermont and during the 12 years in Wyoming.
      I think wherever we live winter is the season that becomes tiresome.

  2. We've had a ridiculously mild winter in England and as a result some aspects of spring are way ahead while others lag a little behind, I have foxgloves that continue to flourish despite being in a dry spot. I planted them some years ago in the shady, damp spot as recommended but they refused to do very well there, instead they self-seeded in the dry spot where they continue to flower and increase in number.

    1. John; I appreciate knowing that you have foxgloves thriving in a dry area. I'm living in US gardening zone 6A--which is difficult for traditionally 'English' garden flowers--summers are long and humid. I keep trying different varieties hoping to find a few that like what I have to offer.

  3. What a beautiful post in photos and your thoughts put to paper.

    Happy Spring and Happy Birthday next week ~ Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

    1. Rainey; My flower photos are definitely not in your league, but I'm glad you enjoyed the walk-about.
      I hope you have a birthday 'treat.'

  4. What a lovely trip around your homestead, no sign here in s w Michigan after another snowstorm on Tuesday.

    1. Hello, Gillie; Anywhere in Michigan surely means a long cold season--we have friends here from the UP--we enjoy having a good grouse about the winters we left behind.

  5. Your garden looks at about the same stage as mine whereas so many others' are much further ahead. We'll get there eventually! x

    1. Em; 'Eventually' is the key word--cold and raining today, but I can see the grass getting greener.

  6. Hi there, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  7. Well Sharon, I guess our recent sunshine has suddenly brought spring into bloom here, but whether this warmer weather will continue waits to be seen. We certainly have that "peck of March dust" that they talk about, being worth "a king's ransom"! It's good to see that our gardens are more or less on a par, although my Magnolia is now out, and the daffodils too. The older I get, the more I dislike winter (even though, as John said, ours has been very mild this year.)

    Good to see the cats are helping you!

  8. How good to see the young plants emerging at last and what fun to see your cats enjoying that spring feeling in the air!

    I wonder if Pebbles still gets a touch of spring fever? Our old mare was running around with her tail held like a banner today!


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