Monday, March 21, 2011

The gardening season has begun!

The show has begun! My old friends are coming back: first the snow drops which have been blooming since late January, then the crocus which have been blooming for 2 weeks now. The little blue scilla have started and the first early season daffodil has finally appeared. I’ve always planted a lot of early season bulbs and early flowering shrubs. Late Winter/early Spring is when I really need it.

My Witch Hazel—a beautiful pale very fragrant variety, Arnold's Promise-- has been blooming for about a month now, the Winter Jasmine (Jasmine Nudiflorum) almost as long. My winter honeysuckle, an ungainly shrub, but worth a place in an out of the way part of the garden, has been pouring forth its astonishing fragrance for about a week now. Witch hazel--on its way out but still wonderfully fragrant.

Jasmine nudiflorum

We’ve had a few days of sunny, unseasonably warm weather and I am finally out there working in the garden! For me it’s the best therapy in the world: when I am in the garden I think of nothing else but the work at hand—-all negative, obsessive thoughts disappear.

Maybe this is the year I'll get it right. During my working years, I never had time to really get the garden in shape until the semester was over in early May.

My first year of retirement was going to be the year I would hit the ground running as soon as the soil could be worked. We planned our trip to Peru in late February and I expected to be home in time for the great Spring Awakening. Thanks to mudslides and avalanches our trip was postponed until the busiest time for a gardener: mid-April. I really didn’t want to get on that plane to Lima.

This year no trips will get in the way of the Spring gardening season. Just maybe I’ll manage to get it all done—-the clean-up, the fertilizing, the pruning.

And very soon my garden will be filled with daffodils, hyacinth, and early tulips!


  1. I saw a forsythia in full bloom today and crocuses are everywhere. Your witch hazel was the first I'd ever seen (outside a bottle!) and it'll be a visual vacation to visit your garden, a mini-arboretum, and see the rolling displays of draped flowering branches and ground color. Whatever you get done will be just the right amount!

  2. We had a lot of rain in my area this past week, with one day of nice sunshine. That day was my big prep day, and the rainy days I used, in between the raindrops, for small pruning and planting bursts!

  3. Reni, Thanks for your confidence in my gardening skill--not sure I share it.

    Accidental Retiree, that’s my strategy too. Whenever the rain stops, I’m out there.

  4. Still stuck in non-weight-bearing mode, I watch as the yard changes and I can do nothing. Thanks for the trip through your garden.... I was smelling that jasmine.....

  5. Ashleigh, I hope you are soon able to work in your garden.

    I also hope you are thinking of pulling together your many thoughtful posts on the Tucson experience and writing a book about what we can all learn from this.

  6. Ashleigh, I hope too when you are strong and have energy that you'll think about writing a book or long article for those who may not be fortunate enough to know your blog (I've been following you for a long time but I'm only a commenter on my dear friend Karen's blog)if doing that doesn't pull you away from what you'll want to do in full health. All the best.
    PS Karen, Despite the threat of snow (sigh) tomorrow it looks like today will be sun-soaked.