Wednesday, March 22, 2017

We Interrupted the Spring Preview Program to Bring

 Winter!. It finally arrived here on March 14 with the first measurable snow for the winter season.
I thought I might give you a before, during and after to our brush with winter.
 On March 9 the forsythia was out in bloom and branches cut to bring inside needed no forcing.
 Daffodils had begun to bloom in various locations in my garden. This bunch was gathered to bring indoors on March 10 because the weather forecast was for below freezing for several days.
 The weather forecasters were whipping us all into a frenzy with seemingly days of reporting that the storm was on its way and would bring us anywhere from 8" to 14" of snow. Here it was finally beginning to fall around sundown on Monday March 13.
 In preparing for the big storm I felt so sorry for my cherry trees that looked as though they were about to burst forth into full spring bloom. The low temperatures would not be kind to them. I decided to cut a small branch and bring it inside to see if it could be "forced" as forsythia regularly is. As you can see, Tuesday morning required  the snow shoveling crew. In reality we got only about 3" of snow but it was wet, heavy and nasty to shovel. That one little branch from the cherry tree gave us a glimpse of spring and kept our spirits up.
 Once the falling snow stopped I open windows or doors and stepped briefly out to record a few images.
 I had picked daffodils from this location only five days previous.
 As you can see spring had been well on its way and the under-story plants in the woods were already wearing their new green leaves.
 The twig picked in bud on the 13th had opened up to the white blooms by the 17th.
 And, by the 20th that same branch had taken on the mature pink hue.
 Today, the 22nd, is a bright, sunny, blustery day. Those daffodils are once more blooming.
 The cherry tree out front finally had blossoms open up this morning. But as you can see some of the buds have been impacted by the cold weather and will likely not bloom at all.
Nature does give us hope though. Today I found the first buds on the bluebells.You can see that the leaves have been somewhat burnt of the cold winds but the buds are there despite that.

Since the Spring Equinox was this past Monday, March 20 I do so hope we have only spring ahead of us. I was amused to read someone's line wondering if March came in like a lion and out like a lamb or if it was the other way round. Instead, the writer commented, March is more like a kangaroo this year!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Nothing Special Happening Here

Except that I have an hour or so free and decided to finally put a new blog post up.
 Here in the mid-Atlantic region we have been having an unusual winter with very warm temperatures and practically no snow. Last weekend I was out of town and as I drove into the neighborhood on Sunday late afternoon I immediately noticed that the ornamental plum tree in my front garden was awash in pink blooms.The past couple of nights have been not so warm so I decided to cut a small branch to bring inside to enjoy.
 A tomato red bouquet from a few weeks back.
Do you know how many petals a tulip has? That was a question this week at the Trivia night we go to each Wednesday evening. Keep reading to find the answer and see if you would have scored one correct.
 On Valentines Day I had big plans to spend the day photographing various red flowers. Alas, there were other things on the "to do" list but while out on the errands I did get handed this one red carnation so I decided to put it to work as a prop once I got home again.
 I had five lovely red gerbera daisies that I used as my subject for many days.
 The hellebores on the side shade garden stayed resolutely without bloom up until this week. I guess this year they did decide to be a Lenten Rose and not a Christmas Rose or a Winter Rose which are other common names for them.
 Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day. The in-house chef came right in from the office , cast off his jacket and tie, and mixed up the ingredients for some very tasty crepes. He had two pans going and it was not easy to photograph him as he was constantly pouring and flipping.
 Some of the crepes got turned into dessert with a spread of jam, a roll up and then a garnish of whipped cream with a sprinkle of orange peel and a final dusting of powdered sugar. Delicious!
 This is a different hellebore. I thought I had lost this plant last winter and I was delighted to see it make a comeback this winter. Only one bloom that I can find but it is gorgeous.
This afternoon, having a little time on my hands, I actually took the chance to tie on my own apron and make some oatmeal raisin cookies. Here they are waiting to slide into the oven.
And to close out I have One Last Hurrah from the red gerberas. They should have been tossed out many days ago. When I did remove them from the vase on Wednesday I firstly laid them down on the counter top while I reached for the compost bowl. Then I noticed the wonderful reflection they made in the granite top so could not resist trying to capture that moment. I surely got value out of these red flowers for Valentines Day.

So, how many petals does a tulip have? The correct answer is six. We guessed wrong.