When musing with another gardener a few years ago, this gardener mentioned his concept of “Go Day,” that spring day when suddenly the afterburners get ignited in the garden and it is time for us gardeners to well….go Go GO!
At that time, it seemed an apt description for how our seasons turn abruptly from wintry conditions to full tilt spring and in response, there is suddenly a list a mile long of urgent jobs to do in the gardens.
Lately however, it is hard to figure out which day is “Go Day.” Already this spring we have had some excellent candidates for “Go Day.” On these glorious mornings when I thought it was Go Day, I joyfully plunged my hands in the dirt to plant early crops like peas and beets. I approached the removal of the Rose suckers with enthusiasm, maybe too much as I then had an evening of pulling tiny rose thorns from my fingers. But still it was bliss.
However, these early Go Day candidates fell short of the mark. Instead of heralding warmer days, each of these 70 degree humdingers were followed by a string of glowering days of bitter cold punctuated by snowstorms.
Which brings us to our storm on Thursday night which dumped a good five inches of heavy snow on the farm.
An old timer I ran into ( this person being almost a peer of mine as I have now been here 40 plus years myself), said, “Well this IS Northern New England after all, and this is just the way spring is.” I admired his philosophical point of view. However I haven’t changed all that much since my blog last week about
my lack of patience in the garden. So for me, I went from savoring the weeding to resentfully watching snow fall. And now lingering cold has left me wistfully indoors looking at the five inches of snow on the ground that has stuck around for four days instead of agreeably melting right away as most spring snow does.
I’ve tried to go with this flow and do inside spring chores like tucking away winter clothes. Only, I still need the sweaters. Even the heavy ones.
So here I sit, wearing my favorite Irish sweater AND a winter coat while feeding the wood stove. There is nothing quite like filling the woodbox in April. Bikes and other accoutrements of spring block the way to the woodpile and I trip and crash, clutching what I keep hoping is my last load of logs to haul into the house for the season.
crash dash to and fro the woodpile, I try not to look to the Arbor Garden. I don’t really want to see the fate of the Daffodils. I am certain the glory of last weeks’ display is toast. When the snow does melt, I hope I will be able to pick bunches of broken Daffodils to fill the office with spring cheer. But who knows? This snow has smushed everything for a long time.
Shrubs and trees encircling the Arbor Garden and all our perennial beds were budded out. Some even had young leaves. This means many limbs are drooping from snow caught in the young foliage. This kind of storm often means we have to cut back shrubs because they don’t pop back into their vertical positions again. Nothing like starting the season by butchering the Flowering shrubs.
Okay, I had to go get more wood so I took a gander at the damage. It’s still a little early to tell but the fate of the Daffodils looks bleak. Other plants like the Hellebores, also known as Winter Rose, seem like they may well rise up and resuming their business of blooming. Time will tell.
I can also hear the drip of melting snow so perhaps in a day or two I will be out there again in a snowless garden tackling things like the crab grass. It would be great if I loved crab grass because nothing stops its roll. Not snow or ice or cold. But I prefer Flowers. That’s my story and I am sticking to it. Loving Flowers means more tears than loving crab grass, but it means more joy too. The Daffodils and I still have the beauty of last week before the agony of the storm. I hope they feel it was worth it. I do.