|Daffodils emerging along the east side of my house, along with some amazingly evergreen foliage.|
Last weekend we enjoyed some pretty nice weather here in Iowa: upper 50s, sunny and actually not windy! (At least, not on Saturday -- Friday was warm, sunny and buffeted by gale-force winds. Literally, gale-force at 40-50 mph.... But the warm wind just helps dry out the melting snow and warm up the soil, so it's OK, unless you have to be out in it.) This is certainly not typical weather for February, even late February.
I spent some time outside enjoying the sunny warmth. And, although it felt crazy, I actually even did a bit of light gardening: I cut back last year's foliage and lightly raked two of my flower beds next to the house where I have my earliest bulbs planted.
|Doesn't look like much yet, but a few bulbs can be seen popping up in this south-facing, well-drained border. Soon.... (And painting our house is definitely on the list of expenses for this year.)|
I would normally resist doing anything before mid-March, as it can be imprudent to uncover too much too early, but this winter has been so mild compared to most. Plus, the forecast for the next ten days shows no cold snaps or snow, taking us into March. The ground is hardly frozen, except for on the north side of buildings. I think we're going to have an early spring this year.
|Green foliage! Sweet Williams and dianthus, plus a few snapdragons that are still green at the base. Very unusual for Iowa.|
I even wintersowed a few sweet peas next to the house. I still want to start some sweet peas inside too, to see which ones bloom first, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
|Sweet pea seeds under cover. I saved the seeds from last year, so we'll see how they do.|
But the majority of my gardening is still being done inside. An impressively large amaryllis bulb that I received from my mother-in-law for Christmas is starting to flower (unlike the cheaper, smaller bulb I bought at Walmart back in November, that still has only foliage....).
I'm starting to think about what I want to do in my gardens this year, and I'm still planning the enclosing of our front porch to make a sunroom so I can enjoy more plants indoors next winter. And I've been working again on my Iowa garden history book a lot this month, after ignoring that project since fall. I have plenty to keep me occupied until spring garden work claims my attention.
March is only a few days away and spring will be here before we know it. This has been a strangely easy winter -- I don't know if that's entirely due to the milder weather and still having a few encouraging green spots outside, or whether growing more plants indoors has been the major help. At any rate, it won't be long now until we're enjoying blue skies, warm sun, green grass and flowers bursting into bloom everywhere!
Hope you're enjoying a warm, early transition to spring where you live too. Thanks for reading! -Beth