The April rains have come, and with them the green and red buds on the trees. Out in the garden we've had crocuses--then snow--then then more rain and even more crocuses, sprinkled with some snowdrops. We have raked and tidied the beds, made way for the grape hyacinths, the buds of which are tinged with purple at their edges. The tulips are midway up, as are the daffodils and fritillaria. The lady's mantle are everywhere, pushing up their tiny pleated fans through the soil, and the pulmonaria are showing off their polka-dotted leaves. I've even caught sight of the first secret frills of red where the bleeding hearts grow at the edge of the woodland border. Out along the edges, the shrub border is filling with color--the red twig dogwoods and the Hakuroo-Nishiki willow are scarlet red, covered with buds. I'm thrilled to see that all the hard cutting and pruning I've done on the lilacs these last two years is paying off. They are looking stronger than ever--and they are loaded with buds.
Chores for the coming couple of weeks include dividing some of the day lilies and spreading the three yards of compost that we're having delivered this weekend. No bed will be left out. Everyone will get a top dressing to start the growing season with a bang. I'll also be starting many, many flower seedlings for the new cutting garden I'm planning to grow in one of the raised beds this year. And then there are the dahlias. They will be emerging from their winter sleep down in the cellar. I'll chit them out until the soil is warm enough to put them in. For the past couple of seasons I've mixed them in with other plantings, letting them grow with all the other flowers. This year I think they may get their own bed. We shall see.
Spring came late here in the Maine this year, but now that it's here, every plant seems to be rushing to put on a show. I am relishing these cool days, especially the ones when the sun puts in an appearance. It's too cool yet for the mosquitos, so we can just be out there in the mud, spreading grass seeds, trimming limbs, and dreaming up new garden plans. I hope your spring is shaping into a beautiful one. If you garden, I'd love to hear what is blooming right now and what you're up to in your garden. More soon--plus pictures of the early spring garden!