Monday, April 1, 2013

My Garden Notebook - April 2013


March has been a month of extremes. We have had several snowfalls and a few days of temperatures in the 50's or 60's. Spring is definitely moving in like a lamb. Although I am yearning for more of the warmth and color of spring, I do relish the snow. I yearn for it so desperately in the winter that when it comes, whenever it comes, it is hard for me to complain.



A childlike sense of wonder seems to come over me, and I table my yearning and savor every snowflake, every frost covered branch, every sweep of alabaster across the landscape. It is almost as if I think I will never see it again. Perhaps it is a way to honor its presence before it retreats for the season--for I will not see it again for many months.



crocus longiflorus

And when the snow melts,--which it did very quickly as the rain fell to wash it away or the temperatures rose high enough to thaw it away--I am transformed to spring mode. Spring nods her head once again as if to say I am here despite winter's long goodbye. I check the daffodils, the crocuses, the peas, to ensure all is well. Although they have been pushed by the wind and smothered by the snow, they all take it in stride. 

stats

Gardening Zone: 7a
March High Temperature: 61 degrees F
March Low Temperature: 27 degrees F
Precipitation: 2.8 inches


wildlife

The American Robin is visiting in high numbers. Sometimes I see 10 to 15 of them in the backyard with about two to four feet between them listening for worms over the ground.


American Robin

This wren perches each morning on the deck railing and sings a morning wake-up call.

House Wren

The squirrels make their way up through the woods to the backyard bird feeder.


Squirrel Tracks

what's blooming, sprouting

The maple blooms are red and sassy and are one of the first to show color.


Red Maple Blooms - Acer rubrum

The crocuses are blooming and attracting insects.


crocus longiflorus

Cherry blossoms will soon be open despite the snow.


Yoshino Cherry Blossom Buds

I have always thought dogwood buds are just as pretty as dogwood blossoms.

Pink Dogwood Blossom Buds - Cornus florida

The hellebores are still blooming and blooming along with the daffodils.


Christmas Rose with Daffodils - Hellebores with narcissus

The daffodils are blooming all around the yard in patches here and there. The side yard still needs some clearing of debris, but the daffodils are shining through.





Hydrangeas are bursting to open into spring.


Oak Leaf Hydrangea Buds - Hydrangea quercifolia

The primroses are opening with beautiful color.

Primrose - Primula vulgaris

In the garden, the peas are holding their own amid the weather changes.


Snowpeas - Avalanche

I do not have time to sow every plant in the garden, so I sow some garden plants, and I buy others. Here are some flats of spinach, lettuce,  strawberries, cabbage, leeks, cilantro, parsley, basil, and tarragon. I will plant the veggies in a day or two. The herbs I may wait to plant. Basil is a bit sensitive to these below freezing night temperatures. Cilantro and parsley will most likely embrace the colder temperatures.



completed chores

cleared away plant debris and leaves in some plant beds
trimmed liriope
spread compost in garden beds
tested soil
spread lime

chores for April

clear away plant debris and leaves in remaining plant beds
weed remaining garden beds
spread compost in remaining beds
plant vegetable plants in garden
weed and mulch garden paths
plant annuals in containers and garden beds

inspirations

Spring has been slow in its arrival this year, but I am so inspired by the first blooms. Color and warmth are on the way.


crocus longiflorus




What's in your Garden Notebook for April?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am joining in the following:

Helen of The Patient Gardener hosts End of Month View. This monthly meme is where garden bloggers share their garden views for the end of the month.

And The Gardening Blog for Garden Bloggers Harvest Day, a monthly meme where bloggers can show off their gardens.


© copyright 2013 Michelle A. Potter

82 comments:

  1. Stunningly beautiful!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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  2. Snow has a magical effect on the landscape though I prefer it not to hang around too long.
    While the weather is cold and gloomy Daffodils are providing a welcome splash of colour. I hope temperatures start rising soon as I prefer to work without numb fingers.

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    1. I, too, hope for the warmth of spring. These cold nights are uncomfortable.

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  3. You are good to savor the winter. When March is cold I know that spring will be shorter lived because the heat will set in sooner. I am so ready to get out in the garden but the weather hasn't cooperated with my schedule (or visa versa). Your photos are spectacular as always and I am looking forward to reading your book on composting!

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    1. Thank you, Karin. I am ready to get out in the garden, too. I have done a few things, but there is a lot to do. :)

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  4. You have such a beautiful way of expressing the delight you find in nature. And your photos - oh my! I've rarely seen any as stunning!

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    1. You are very kind. Thank you, J. I really appreciate it.

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  5. I love that you like the snow as much as you do. I also love the combination of the daffodils and the hellebores. I've never seen those two together before! They look so sweet coming up in your garden. Looks like spring! Your book on composting sounds very informative, too.

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    1. I have not seen the two, hellebores and daffodils, together before. We have had a very cold winter, so perhaps that made the difference. Thank you, Holley.

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  6. Hello, these are lovely photographs and thoughts on winter giving way to spring. I love the photograph of the robin and especially of the wren singing in the snow. I can just imagine the sound. Spring has been held back here due to cold weather; there will be plenty to do in the garden when it eventually warms up.

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    1. Thank you, Wendy. Our spring has been slow in coming as well.

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  7. Cudownie pokazałaś marcowe kontrasty w Twoim ogrodzie, śnieg i kwiaty. U nas jest tylko jeden kolor, biały śnieg. Pozdrawiam.

    You showed in March contrasts wonderfully in your garden, snow and flowers. With us there is only one color, white snow. Yours.

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    1. Thank you, Giga. I hope your winter ends very soon.

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  8. Michelle, I see you had a lot of work in March and are planning a lot on April! We have snow and it doesn't melt so I grow my seedlings inside and wait for warm days.
    Great photo of dogwood bud with ice on it!

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    1. Thank you, Nadezda. I hope your snow melts very soon.

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  9. Your pictures are beautiful as usual Michelle - it seems as though everything is on hold this year in England so it is good to see the spring flowers in your garden. It is still far too cold for the time of year and jobs are piling up waiting for the warmer weather. I know you love the snow but I have had quite enough of it now and will be quite happy for it to disappear till next year.

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    1. Thank you very much, Elaine. Spring has come in like a lamb this year, and winter seems to be taking a while to say goodbye. We have had a few days of warm weather which is so nice.

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  10. You are a better winter person than I am. Although, I must say, after 62 inches of the stuff, I think it's probably OK for me to be tired of it for this season! It's melting very fast now. Hurrah! Beautiful post, as always, Michelle!

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    1. Thank you, Beth. I am not sure how my sensibilities would react to the amount of snow you get each winter. I would like to think I would welcome it, but too much of anything can get tiresome. :)

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  11. So glad you like the snow. Apparently, it's come all the way from us over here in Europe, on an easterly wind. We like to share, you know.

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    1. LOL! It is so nice of you to share...thank you! :)

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  12. I like snow even though like you said, 'its long goodbyes". Snow came down today, but I noticed a hyacinth poking out from the soil by a mere 2cm. Oh well, the plants are trying to make Spring! Nice photos of the snow/spring.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. It is a joy to see the blooms peeking out from beneath the snow.

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  13. Your garden looks lovely. And you're right, buds are beautiful too!!

    PS - Thanks for posting the photos of the maple flowers. There are plenty of flowers on the two new maple trees we planted, but most are so high up that I can't see them very well ;)

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    1. Thank you, Aaron. And I am so glad you can appreciate the maple blooms. I, too, think they often get ignored because of the cherry, redbud, and other more elaborate displays. This year, they were the first to come out.

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  14. Imagine each moment as a precious gift - one we may not see again, but joyous that we saw it now. You have captured the essence of nature beautifully.

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    1. Thank you very much for that beautiful comment, Claudia. You echo my thoughts exactly about nature.

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  15. My cherry buds are bright pink. :o) I hope they're blooming soon. I compost as much as I can, too, but am dependent on worm bins since I don't have room for a larger composter. I sowed myosotis and parsley seeds outside but everything else is growing under lights or in my winter sowing containers. Beautiful photography!

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    1. My cherry buds are bright pink, too. I love that depth of color in the buds contrasted with white and soft blush of pink in the blooms. My worms are deep in the pile. When I harvest compost, I always put the worms back. I love when they survive the winter.

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  16. Lovely photos. You have a lot of blooms despite the snow! The crocuses, daffodils, and hellebores are very pretty. Thank you for visiting my blog :)

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  17. I love that you celebrate every moment of winter - I too wouldn't have it any other way! Your pictures of the flowers blooming from underneath the snow are beautiful and show that we shouldn't despise winter. I love your photo of the little wren bursting with sound, he looks small but I bet he sings a big song :)

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    1. He does...sing a big song. He is my alarm clock for he is up as soon as the sun begins to rise. :) Thank you so much, Rosemary.

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  18. I love that photo with the crocus in the snow! Wow! All the other ones are great too. Cute birdhouse.

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    1. Thank you very much. It is so nice to see the blooms now.

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  19. I agree about the beauty of dogwood buds. I have a flowering dogwood I planted last spring and it has exactly one bud!

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    1. I hope you get more buds very soon. One of my trees that is planted in a more shady part of the garden has very small buds, but another one that is in a more sunny area has these large buds.

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  20. Again such a beautiful photographs. You have snow but also spring is very obvious in your garden. We had snow last week, that's no problem but the frost we still have every night about minus 3 C. degrees, holds up spring. It has been a very long time that we had such a cold spring. Gardening work is piling up now.

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    1. My chore list has already grown from this post. There is so much to do in the garden. Thank you, Janneke.

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  21. Garden to do lists daunt me. I tend to walk around and think ... next ... I have heavily pruned the granadillas, formalised the shape of the pair of Kei apples at the garage entrance, feathered the tops of our trees in front of the mountaiin, weeded out 3/4 of the kikuyu under the figs.

    Next I have my beady eye on grooming the formality of Paradise and Roses.We had RAIN so I can thinking of planting where needed!

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    1. There is so much to do that I would never remember it all if I did not keep a list. Too many times, I have missed something and then had to work hard in the hot weather because I did not plan ahead and do it in the spring. Your list is long as well and so glad you had some rain.

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  22. How I love your enthusiasm, as for me, I wont mind if I never see snow again. The only chore which I have for April will be fence painting the rest will be a pleasure.

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    1. Your love of gardening is evident as you see it through the eyes of joy. Gardening seems to be one of those things that can keep us happy even when we are working hard at it. :)

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  23. Lovely pictures! I love Christmas roses. Beautiful birds and flowers in your pictures.

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    1. Thank you! I am looking forward to more blooms as spring emerges.

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  24. I see through your lens and eyes that the animals and plants are impatient for warmer weather to herald the arrival of spring. Lovely photos to illustrate your narration.

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    1. Thank you, Stiletto. The birds are already searching for nests.

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  25. Gorgeous photos! I'm glad to see someone else went a little wild with herb-buying. I couldn't resist them at the farmer's market last week ... I agree that dogwood buds are lovely. I was trying to photography them yesterday but they wouldn't stay still in the breeze.

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    1. LOL! I can't resist when I see them in the nursery. Each year, I have to replace the basils and tarragon because they don't last through winter.

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  26. Inspiring posting, Michelle, knowing that spring will arrive in my garden eventually, too. Love your book -- now I need a bigger composter! P. x

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    1. LOL! That is one thing I love about garden blogging is seeing someone post what is to come in my garden.

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  27. Wonderful to see so many signs of spring! Those squirrel prints are so cute. And I love your beautiful red birdhouse!

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    1. The squirrels are very frequent visitors to the bird feeder area. They can't reach the birdseed, but they forage the leftovers on the ground.

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  28. Thanks for visiting my blog! Your photos are lovely. I also liked seeing your lists of "to do's" and "projects." I've got both going at all times, it seems, so it's fun to see what other people are up to. I'll have to check out your book. One of my projects this year is adding a compost pile. I think I have finally found a place to put it!

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    1. Thank you, Linnae. We must create new compost bins this year because the logs finally began to decompose themselves. We are using cedar bins this time.

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  29. There is something so beautiful and ethereal about crocus coming through the snow. Your photo has captured it perfectly.

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    1. I agree, Cindy. They seemed to be great friends when I took that photo. Now, it is warm and more things are blooming.

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  30. Your garden notebook posts are always so inspiring, Michelle; the photo of the crocus peeking through the snow is beautiful, such a promise of spring, no matter the weather. I will have to check out your book--really, you can compost pizza boxes??

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    1. Thank you, Rose. I am glad I was able to document them with the snow. We are in the 70's at the moment. Yes, you can really compost pizza boxes. :) Tearing them in smaller pieces helps them decompose more quickly.

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  31. I noticed the icon for your book right away - great idea! Once you start thinking about compost in other ways it's amazing what else comes to mind that can go in the bin. We are still seeing a bit of the white stuff up here but I admit I'm done with it. There's talk of still one more storm to come and all I can think of is digging in my garden.

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    1. Indeed, Marguerite. It seems once you get the composting down, you want to find what else can be added to the pile. I wish you warmer weather. We are having a bit of warm weather at the moment, and it is so nice to be out in the garden.

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  32. How cool is that you wrote a book...I will check it out. Your garden is not far from mine and we keep having the same weather although we are staying much colder. You have lots to plant and I still cannot get out in the garden. Birds are confused and patient waiting for the latest snow to melt.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. It is something I have wanted to do for a while as a good reference. I hope you are able to get out in the garden very soon.

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  33. Lovely post Michelle, and lovely pictures as always :-)
    Congratulations on your book, I wish I could compost here, but I simply don't know where I should put a composting bin, every little corner is utilised in my tiny garden. But at least I am not wasting my garden waste, it is collected by the Council's composting team, so they turn it in to compost instead. Great service.

    Love your trays of plants, I haven't dared to buy anything yet, it is just too cold here in London still, spring has yet to arrive here!

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    1. That is so nice that you have a composting team that collects your garden waste. I think that would be nice to have here as well for those who are unable to compost. We had a slow start to spring, but things are warmer this week.

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  34. My first visit to your blog - such beautiful photos and I love your gardening ethos for composting etc - I really hate all the horrible chemicals that people use on their gardens! I find if you encourage as many birds into the garden, they do tend to deal with many of the pests - I'd rather spend out on bird food than slug pellets any day! I'm also with you when it comes to snow - I do love it although it doesn't always help the plants. Enjoy your weekend and I will return for another visit v. soon - Miranda

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    1. Thank you, Miranda. The birds do a fantastic job of eating the pests. I see them on the garden fence all the time. Hope you are having a great week.

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  35. Oh I am falling more and more in love with the way you see life and live your life...observing so much beauty. I adore your magic Michelle :)>

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    1. Thank you kindly, Unikorna. Nature is the one respite I can always count on.

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  36. I love your photo of the crocus in the snow! Congratulations on your composting book and for doing your part to make the world a better place! More and more I see the benefits of organic gardening and using our resources wisely.

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    1. Thank you, Deb. Organic gardening is so easy. I wish more people understood how easy it is.

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  37. Sage, your photos capture the emergence of spring SO well! Each and everyone is a treasure. Crocus and Snowdrops are on my wishlist, along with Pasque Flower - so there is some color this time of year (in the future).

    Your 'sustainability' call-to-arms is inspirational. I need to check out your book, because more composting is the war cry for this season! (It feels so good to be reading about, and planning for gardens again.)

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    1. I agree, Shyrlene. It is so nice to be out in the garden after this long winter. I have missed it. I, too, would like to add some Snowdrops.

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  38. Gorgeous photos -- I love the rich colors, especially of the crocus in snow. Hope things are warming up for you.

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    1. Things are warming up nicely. I hope the same for you. Thanks!

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  39. Your photos are truly stunning. What a talent you have! My favorite photos are of the crocus in the snow and the crocus with the pollinator. Also loved the bud on the dogwood. Lovely! Happy Spring!

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    1. Happy spring to you, too, Beth. It is such a wild and wonderful world of color.

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  40. I find it strangely reassuring that gardeners all over the northern hemisphere have been experiencing weird weather and cold late Spring. I love that dusky purple hellebore, and how exciting to have so many plants ready to go in the ground. I can't say I have ever put old leather gloves in the compost but I am like you, constantly looking for more things that I can recycle in such a positive way, and constantly amazed at how little really can't. I do tend to put the cooked kitchen scraps in the council compost bin though, so as to cut down on the rat attraction quotient.

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    1. It has been interesting to see the similarities and the differences in the weather patterns across the world. I have enjoyed this slow emergence of spring, however, even though my impatience has sometimes gotten the best of me. I like enjoying all of these spring surprises for a longer period. We don't have rat problems, but we do have skunks, squirrels, raccoons, rabbits. I sprinkle the piles with a little black or cayenne pepper which helps to keep them at bay.

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  41. Such a lovely essay on the coming Spring! Your close up look is so lovely to view!

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    1. Thank you, Jayne. Spring never seems to disappoint.

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'I see trees of green, red roses, too
I see 'em bloom for me and for you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world'
--What a Wonderful World

Thank you for visiting The Sage Butterfly blog. I enjoy reading your charming reflections very much. Have a great day!

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