Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spring Garden news-week 1- March 16

Spring - week 1- March 16

I am prepared to declare that Spring is here, notwithstanding that the snow is still out there at least for part of the garden. The snowdrops are out. There will be more about them later. Snowdrops can bloom in January so I hesitate to declare springtime just because of snowdrops.
The real sign in my yard of spring is winter aconite, a wonderful little yellow flower from a bulb, that bursts out when it really is starting to warm up.
I saw the first aconite emerging earlier this week and the first blooms occurred yesterday, March 15.
So spring is here and the picture contest is officially over.

I have appreciated all the nice comments I have received, some in print and some in person. It has been a good way to get through the winter. I have enjoyed it and I understand that many of you have as well.

Unlike last year when the contest ended, this year if you follow the blog you will hardly miss a beat. I will try to post the garden news each weekend. There will be pictures and there will be commentary, and there will be the feature of “what’s blooming right now”. For years I hung a dry erase board out on the walnut tree in the front yard and told people what was blooming. I still have that board and it will still go up for people who come by.
I do understand that some people have some trouble with the blog and may wish to receive an email version of the garden news. If you want that you must tell me that. I have a special email list for people to get the news and will not automatically include people from the picture list on the weekly news list.

So on the blog this year will be newsy stuff, pictures, and I will give you all a chance to vote on something each week. I actually like that because it gives me an idea of at least how many people have peeked at what I have composed.

So good-bye picture contest 2007-8. Hello springtime.

There was an overtime vote last week, with a contest featuring the pumpkins. The winner was…The Mardi Gras Pumpkin

1- Christmas Pumpkin 5+0=5 for 9.4%
2- Mardi Gras Pumpkin 18+2=20 for 37.7%
3- Wintery Pumpkin 17+0=17 for 32.1%
4- Shrunken Head Pumpkin 7+4=11 for 20.8 %
Total votes 47+6=53

The first number in the addition is the electronic vote on the blog, the second the email vote.
As is always the case you can go the blog archive on the right side and go back and look at previous weeks. You can go back and follow the entire contest if you have the time and inclination.

So that it for the contest. It will return in the fall when we all need help again.
So on to the Garden News for the first week of spring.

The major story of course is the emergence of the snowdrops. All week the melted area grew. Last weekend it was just 8-10 feet away from the foundation in the backyard. By this weekend about half the yard was snow less. As the snow melted there were instant snowdrops. They emerged in some cases completely full grown. There were ones that were just coming out of the ground. Others were already up 4-5 inches, where the day before there was at least that much snow. What was going on? One likely possibility was that they had emerged in January and I just didn’t notice them. Then they were covered and were full grown when the snow melted. The other possibility, as weird as it sounds is that they grew under the snow. I don’t know what else it could have been.
So for pictures I have lots of snowdrops, some standing straight up in the leaves. Some are just barely out of the ground. Some have little white caps as they come out of the ground. I have put them in order so that the ones just coming out of the ground are first. Enjoy.

Then there are the aconite. Before they bloom they are a little like something out of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Or the pod people movies. Whatever they are they are pretty neat.

Finally there are pictures of things to come. There is this little clump of crocuses that may bloom by next weekend. Then there is this emerging columbine. There is always something new when you take the time to look.

As a final note I checked to see when there was aconite in previous years. I have sort of kept track for several years. In 2004 aconite bloomed first on March 7, followed one day later by the first crocus. In 2007 the first aconite was on March 11, with the first crocus on March 17. The first daffodil was a week later.
So this year is later than previous years, but not by much.

For this weeks poll I ask the question "When will you believe that it is spring?"
The choices are
1) When there are snowdrops
2) When there are daffodils
3) When there is no more snow on the ground
4) When you see lots of people wearing flip-flops

Enjoy the week and anytime you want stop by and enjoy the garden.

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