Saturday, March 24, 2018

Spring Wake-Up

Winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis).

Springtime is slow to arrive this year, but it is arriving. I've been enjoying some warm, sunny days over the past weeks here in Iowa, and have been starting to cut back and rake out some of my garden beds, as well as start seeds and make garden plans for this year. But the ground remains colder than average this year, and early blooms are opening nearly a month later this year, compared to last. We impatient gardeners are always raring to go in spring, but I suppose this teaches us to be patient and concentrate on doing other things that still need to be done inside.

Caution: Falling Figs!  A huge Mysore Fig (Ficus drupacea), the largest in the United States
at 102 feet tall and 305 inches circumference. Our visit to the Edison & Ford Winter Estate in
Fort Myers, Florida was fascinating.
My husband and I spent four days in southwest Florida in late February, and that was a wonderful escape from winter and a preview of summer -- no wonder Thomas Edison and Henry Ford had winter estates down in that part of the world! We visited the Edison & Ford Winter Estate and the Naples Botanical Garden on our trip to Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Naples, and collected shells on the beaches of Sanibel Island, and it was a lovely trip.

But back to reality.... Actually, I was quite happy to return to Iowa to see our spring unfold, and it was sunny and 65°F when we returned (we really did bring back some of that Florida weather!). 

The little irises were blooming last week. (And something -- I suspect rabbits -- has been munching our tulips... Grrr.)

And one miniature daffodil has bloomed!

But I woke up this morning to this:

Ice, sleet and snow blowing in sideways with 30 mph gusts of wind!

Trees covered in ice.

Everything covered in ice, including the Yellow Garden, in which not a trace of yellow
can be discerned.

I was supposed to work at my store today, but as I live in the country on gravel roads and there's a severe winter travel advisory, my store will be closed today (along with many other businesses in town). It's a Snow Day! (A good day to catch up on reading garden blogs, to see what everyone's up to as spring slowly arrives.)

So I'll continue to stay inside, where it's cozy and warm, and enjoy my indoor garden:

Starting seeds inside. I'm still working on making my new greenhouse habitable for some of
the seedlings as they are potted on.

My Calamondin orange has both fruit and blooms.

My Dipladenia has been flowering during most of the winter -- much better than the Mandevilla I grew that stopped blooming and immediately fell prey to some sort of blight as soon as I brought it inside.

Even when it's not sunny, my sunroom is still a pretty nice place to be. On a sunny day, it's simply glorious. It's definitely
my Happy Place!

I've been making plans this spring for a new garden area, and eliminating several other areas that haven't been as satisfactory. I'll reveal my plans as soon as I have made some progress (which, with any luck, will happen in the next few weeks).

Until then, I hope you are are enjoying warm, sunny springtime days in your own gardens, as plants pop up and flowers open. I look forward to reading about your own spring plans, and I'm so glad you stopped by -- thanks for reading! -Beth