Monday, April 20, 2020

The warmth returns

This magnolia has a wonderful scent

Hi Everyone -- I hope you have been enjoying warm days in your gardens so far this spring. It was quite nice here until this past week. We had enjoyed temperatures as warm as 80°F in previous weeks, but this past week has been terribly cold, with frost nearly every evening until now, blustery cold days of high winds, and even snow.

Easter morning was beautifully warm and sunny, and our teenage children enjoyed hunting for Easter eggs that they dyed and my husband hid in our yard -- something they have been "too old" to do for many years now, but which during our stay-at-home time seemed like a good activity, in between watching the local church service online and eating Easter dinner together. Familiar things bring comfort.

There's a hidden Easter egg peeking out behind these tulips on Easter morning.

I had been bringing plants outside to my front porch for the past several weeks to harden off and get better light during the many sunny days we had in prior weeks.

My potted exotic fruit trees (olive, pomegranate and fig) that had spent the winter
in the basement were outside acclimating themselves to the outdoors again, as were the
snapdragons, sweet peas and ranunculus plants I started inside, together with the
store-bought snapdragons and pansies at left. (I have to cover the seed flat with
chicken wire to prevent cats and dogs from regarding the tray as a soft bed and
totally smashing the seedlings, in case you were wondering...).

Needless to say, this past week my husband and I have needed to haul all these big pots and trays inside every evening before frost settles in, and I've put them all back out the following day. This has been rather a lot of work.

And then we even got 3+ inches of snow -- twice! This is pretty unusual for this late in April for us.

The white stuff, just when you're thinking it's done for the year.

But the warmth has returned again and it doesn't look like the lows should be much below 40°F during the next ten nights, with highs in the 50s and 60s.

So yesterday I worked outside for the first time in a whole week: I was able to cut back, rake out and weed the herb garden, which is shown in the snowy picture above.

The Herb Garden last month.

And yesterday after tidying it up -- it was a beautiful time to take a little break on the bench at back. It made me wonder why I don't sit there more often (a common thought among gardeners, I believe).

More bulbs are blooming:

Grape hyacinths and basket-of-gold (Aurinia saxatilis) in my front border.

The bulbs always look so beautiful in spring, although I didn't plant very many last year and I can see that I will need to add more this fall. It seems like I always make this note to myself in April, but my intentions often fade by October.

I hope you are able to enjoy sunny, warmer days as spring unfolds in your gardens this year, and that you and your families are well as we slowly return to normal over the next months.

Thanks for reading! -Beth


  1. I really love your herb garden. The formal look to the boxwoods is just amazing! We're happy for the warmer weather and working a bit most days in the garden. I planted kale and lettuce so far; do you have a vegetable garden? I don't grow too many vegetables but thought it'd be nice to have some fresh ones that I don't have to go to the store and purchase. Will put in cucumber and tomato plants later, and plant some green beans too. Have a good week!

    1. Hi Beth, Thanks for your kind words! It does seem like a good year to plant a vegetable garden, doesn't it, with all the dark talk of the food chain and everything. Yes, Brian has planted potatoes and I have started broccoli, cabbages, kale, peppers and tomatoes. And I bought some lettuce and cabbage starts too. Maybe my next post should be about the Kitchen Garden.... Hope you and your family are well these days. Thanks for stopping by! Best, -Beth

  2. I would like to smell magnolia, I wish it could be done over the internet. You have a beautiful garden and I hope that the cold and snow will not come to you anymore. Regards.

    1. Hi Giga, It's nice to hear from you again -- I'm so glad you visited! Thanks for your kind words and I hope you and your family are well. Best, -Beth

  3. I am enjoying your tulips as I don't grow them -- they are a favored deer food here. I look forward to your kitchen garden post. You made an earlier start than me with your vegetables. Something ate my peas! I'm afraid there is a groundhog living under my potting shed, so it's going to be a challenge this year. P. x