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When Will It Be Spring? GBBD, March 2014

March 15, 2014

March garden 2014I am at home in Maine for my “spring break,” but it feels more like January than March. Temperatures have been well below normal, and snow is still piled high in the garden.

But there are some promises of spring. The days are getting noticeably longer; and even when the temperature is below freezing, the sun is strong enough to melt snow from the roof.  At the front of the house, the forsythia is covered with fat buds. But spring blooms are  probably still at least a month away.

forsythia buds in snow1

gburg snow hillI have higher hopes of seeing spring soon in my Gettysburg garden. When I left there a week ago, the mountain of shoveled  snow  in front of my townhouse had melted down to a hill, and the buds on the Viburnum were getting plump. Temperatures in Gettysburg have been in the 50s and 60s while I’ve been away, so I hope to see bare ground when I return in a few days. Maybe there will even be signs of new growth from the crocus bulbs.

viburnum bud 2014

CharismaMeanwhile, I’m continuing to make do with indoor blooms. Although the forsythia branches that were blooming on my dining room table a month ago have faded and dropped their blossoms, my reluctant Hippeastrum bulbs have finally begun to flower. This is ‘Charisma.’ I love its tissue-paper thin translucent petals.

And, of course, my faithful potted cyclamen continue to bloom enthusiastically.

cyclamen march 2014

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see what’s in bloom this month at gardens from many locations (including some where spring has already arrived).

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34 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2014 9:27 pm

    Jean, after this kind of delay, I hope your spring arrives with a bang when Mother Nature finally sends Old Man winter packing. At least you have beautiful indoor blooms to divert you! ‘Charisma’ is wonderful.

    • March 16, 2014 9:30 pm

      Kris, I’m a winter lover, but enough already! It’s time for spring. I agree about Charisma; I’ve waited two years for it to bloom, but it was well worth the wait.

  2. Nell Jean permalink
    March 15, 2014 9:55 pm

    Charisma and Cyclamen. What a delight while you wait for Spring to inch its way to you. It’s coming, I promise. Happy Bloom Day.

    • March 16, 2014 9:33 pm

      Nell, Thank goodness for blooming houseplants. I’ve really needed them this year. When I look out the window at the bright sunshine and hear the drip..drip..drip of snow melting from the roof, I know Spring is on its way. But when I step outdoors, the temperatures tell a different story. It will be below about -5 here tonight; January cold.

  3. March 15, 2014 11:07 pm

    I hope spring and all its pretty flowers will come to you soon! Charisma is gorgeous. So is your snow, but I can understand how quickly it can become too much. For us, a one time snowfall of more than two inches is too much!

    • March 16, 2014 9:36 pm

      Deb, We are getting some slow melting. I’m remembering the year I got back to Maine in late April and found icy remains of snow banks still along the side of the driveway. I think this year will be the same. It is normal here to have snow on the ground from December until April, but there are usually some patches of bare ground starting to show around the trees by this time. We’re experiencing that same delay of Spring that you did — just a couple of months later.

  4. March 16, 2014 12:17 am

    Lovely pictures! I am also forcing branches to bloom indoor! It is a survival activity for me!

    • March 16, 2014 9:41 pm

      Daniela, I know what you mean about forcing branches as a survival activity. I brought forsythia branches in from my Gettysburg garden at the end of January and had them in bloom by mid-February. I should have brought more in every couple of weeks to keep myself going until spring finally arrives. I see that your witch hazel has just begun to bloom, a very early sign of Spring. Here’s hoping the warm breezes and Spring flowers arrive soon.

  5. March 16, 2014 12:50 am

    Jean, yes spring will come soon. We are all getting anxious! Your photos are beautiful – those indoor flowers are lovely.

    • March 19, 2014 8:28 pm

      Diane, I imagine you’re no closer to spring’s arrival than I am. Thank goodness for those indoor flowers!

  6. March 16, 2014 3:22 am

    Hi Jean, it seems spring has been to long to arrive with you, when others already have their gardens blooming. Anticipation is a difficult process, i would rather have the blooms in our garden which already look boring because they are always there!

    • March 19, 2014 8:30 pm

      Andrea, Most of the eastern half of the United States has had an unusually cold winter this year, so spring is late arriving everywhere. I always start feeling impatient for spring at this time of year, but I’m going to have to be impatient even longer than usual this year! :-|

  7. March 16, 2014 6:00 am

    I have never seen Hippeastrum Charisma, it is stunning, I must look out for it. I hope you get Spring flowers soon. Do you pick the Forsythia to enjoy the buds opening indoors?

    • March 19, 2014 8:34 pm

      Chloris, Isn’t Charisma gorgeous? I love the way the overlap of its translucent petals make it seem like there are more of them than there are. From some angles, it looks like a double flower. I do love to cut forsythia branches and bring them in for forcing, but spring is so late this year that they have already bloomed and faded before anything has happened outdoors.

  8. March 16, 2014 9:57 am

    Hi Jean,
    You are so blessed to have the indoor garden to cheer you. I have never been able to raise cyclamen to be so beautiful – congratulations on your prowess! Yes, we are in Florida escaping Jan 4 from Maryland – best decision we have made this year! Best to you, Shen

    • March 19, 2014 8:36 pm

      Shenandoah, I know that cyclamen have a reputation for being difficult, but I think it is really just a matter of temperature. If you live in a cold climate and have a nice drafty windowsill where they can be kept between 55(F) and 65(F) during the winter, they are easy-care houseplants. (Definitely not plants for winter in Florida :-) )

  9. March 16, 2014 10:05 am

    Jean, your amaryllis is wonderful, as are your cyclamen. I love the deep red and white combination of each. They offer such a nice contrast against the outdoor winter views.

    • March 19, 2014 8:39 pm

      Joene, They are keeping me sane while I wait for spring. Charisma is almost done blooming, but I have another amaryllis that looks like it will begin to open next week. That should keep me going for another few weeks.

  10. March 16, 2014 10:21 am

    Hi Jean, It is certainly a winter for the record books! Even here, after temps in the 60’s yesterday, we’re expecting another snowstorm tonight–from 6 to 10 inches they say! We’ve had several storms that are unusual for this area…schools have been cancelled so many times I think my son might still be going in July! LOL. I love that variety of Amaryllis…it’s almost translucent. I’ve never been good at keeping cyclamen alive inside (or outside, for that matter). But it looks lovely in your windowsill. I hope you’ll return to PA and see a big difference next week…but with this next storm coming through, I wouldn’t count on it just yet!

    • March 19, 2014 8:43 pm

      Jan, I actually flew back from Maine on Monday into that late winter snow. Fortunately, at least at BWI, it wasn’t as much snow as it was hyped to be. (The weatherman on my local PA television station claimed that BWI had recorded 7.9″ of snow, but there was only about 3″ on the ground in the parking lot where my car was parked.) Even with this new snow, I still saw a big difference in PA. By yesterday afternoon, the snow had melted from most of my garden here, and it’s supposed to go up into the fifties tomorrow! (Which is good, because I left my winter boots and most of my winter clothes in Maine.)

  11. March 16, 2014 12:29 pm

    Very nice Hipeastrum and Cyclamen! But if this winter goes on much longer will we have to change GBBD to GBD?

    • March 19, 2014 8:47 pm

      Jason, It does sometimes seem like we may never have outdoor blooms again, doesn’t it? Really, though, I’m sure spring will come — but when? When I was in Maine, I was talking with the contractor who is going to build an addition on my house this summer. His line was: “Rumor has it that spring might get here by Memorial Day weekend.” ;-)

  12. March 16, 2014 2:14 pm

    I can understand your impatience for spring to arrive. I was recently away to a conference in Atlanta and had a chance to visit the local botanical garden along with some other gardeners from around the country. Everything looked fairly bare and wintry to me–having come from California–but one of the others on the tour–from Maine–was absolutely giddy about the crocus, first narcissus and witch hazel that were in bloom. Spring will get up there too, eventually. I hope you find some of it in PA!

    • March 19, 2014 8:49 pm

      James, I can easily imagine the giddiness of that Mainer in Atlanta. I remember the year I came to Gettysburg for my job interview in mid-March. I kept looking around in wonder and exclaiming, “Everything is so green!!” Finally one of my colleagues-to-be said, “It doesn’t look green to us.”

  13. March 16, 2014 6:21 pm

    I hope that spring arrives with you soon Jean. We had a long wait for that season to arrive last year but when it came it was especially sweet!

    • March 19, 2014 8:50 pm

      Anna, I’m counting on that extra anticipation adding sweetness to the arrival of spring.

  14. March 16, 2014 7:41 pm

    My garden is more like your Maine garden where spring will be delayed this year.

    • March 19, 2014 8:54 pm

      Donna, It helps that I won’t see my Maine garden again until late April, by which time the snow will presumably be gone and green shoots and even some flowers will be in evidence.

  15. March 17, 2014 1:55 pm

    Jean, I can’t believe you still have that much snow, but it is good to see some signs of spring, the Charisma flowers look gorgeous!

    • March 19, 2014 8:55 pm

      Lula, It’s not really unusual to have this much snow on the ground in Maine at this time of year, but it is usually melting faster in warmer temperatures than this year.

  16. March 19, 2014 2:17 pm

    Jean, winters in Aberdeen can often drag on and on, apparently they have had very little snow this Winter. I will keep my fingers crossed that things warm up for you soon.

    • March 20, 2014 1:16 pm

      Alistair, It helps a lot that the days get so much longer each day at this time of year. (This must be even more true in Aberdeen than in my more southerly latitudes.) Even with snow on the ground and the dreaded “polar vortex” overhead, the nights soon won’t be long enough for it to get seriously cold.

  17. March 19, 2014 5:20 pm

    So you’re in Maine right now? Is this the ironical “spring break”? Minus 5? Yeow. At least the flower buds give us all hope (or frustrate us with anticipation). That “Charisma” is stunning! I love those paper-thin petals. And the cyclamen are gorgeous! Having in-door blooming plants would be wonderful, but my cats would simply assume I was supplying them with more poop-boxes.

    • March 20, 2014 1:19 pm

      Emily, I came back from my “spring break” in Maine to Gettysburg a few days ago (arriving on the day of a snow storm!). The snow has mostly melted here, and I’m starting to see the first growth of daffodil foliage pushing up above the ground (more than a month later than last year). The temperatures on Saturday are supposed to be up in the high fifties; seems like a good day to get outside, clean up old spent foliage from last year, and see what new growth I can uncover in the garden.

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