Sunday, March 10, 2013

Slow Changes

My apologies for leaving Garden Musings alone so long.  ProfessorRoush has been in a gardening funk of major proportions, accompanied, I assume, by many of my Zone 6 and lower friends.  My garden is incorporating the local signs of Spring at a snail's pace, with the warm days of yesterday faded into the cold afternoon of today. And likewise it's Gardener has also been absent-without-permission, unable to get excited even at the daily opening and closing of his snow crocus.

The garden is completely static, unable to rouse itself from winter at the recent pace for Kansas.  As I review my notes of years past, this Spring seems to be "normal" and I would predict the redbuds and forsythia bloom at the end of the month, with daffodils in early April, unlike last year when we had redbuds and daffodils in full bloom by now, and iris and Scilla had already graced my presence.  This year, the redbuds and forsythia are still tightly closed.  Scilla hasn't appeared above ground and the daffodils are barely peaking up in places.  ProfessorRoush only hopes that all this means a wet Spring to break the drought and shortened weeks of furnace temperatures in July and August.

I  blame the semi-annual Time Change, of course, for the combined sloth of my garden and myself, as most of my regular readers would expect.  Just this past week, around Monday, I had finally adjusted to the Fall change, sleeping in at long last several days this week until 6:00 instead of waking to frozen darkness at 5:00 a.m. As a consequence, this morning I awoke after the time change at 6:45, which on a normal work day will make me late. So now I have to readjust to life awakening in darkness again, although the extra hour at night in the garden might start to be useful. Daylight Savings Time also seems to have brought a return to the cold. Yesterday we had rain and +60F. Today, we have rain,+35F, and gale winds from the north, with snow forecast this afternoon and evening.  When, oh when, will Spring come again?

Construction on "The Barn" continues, with a roof in place, but no doors.  I did briefly rouse myself yesterday during the warm hours to fill bird feeders, pick up trash in the yard, and water a few cloched baby roses, but my only real garden progress was the planting of a daylily start from my parent's farm.  I chose this division in December from among about thirty others because it looked vigorous and strong (my father has no idea which one it is).  It has proved its vitality, because tucked away in a unheated garage in a black garbage bag for 2 months it grew over a foot of pale yellow foliage in the darkness, and so it was far overdue for planting.  With my luck and looking at the vigor of this daylily, I probably chose a clump of ugly orange 'Kwanso' to transplant.  I had plenty of that already!

Perhaps I should begin a campaign to hurry Spring along by planning some garden changes.  I need, for instance, to revise the pictured corner of my landscaping (right), which was originally a triangle of purple- and yellow-needled evergreens in front of the bluish "dwarf" spruce at the corner. Over 13 years, Juniper 'Old Gold' has overgrown and covered the plum-winter-needled Juniper horizontalis 'Youngstown Andorra' , and it threatens to move on to the adjacent roses.  Additionally, I think it has become home for several critters, as evidenced by the trails leading under it, and it needs to go.  What to replace it with?  The only danger here, as every gardener will recognize, is that I allow my Winter's despair to influence ill-advised changes in the overall garden by, for instance, inspiring me to rip out this healthy sunny border in favor of a doomed shade garden, or a 1 acre pond, or a 75 foot long pondless waterfall   Moderation is the key to garden planning by restless gardeners in Winter.

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