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Signs of Spring: GBBD, March 2012

March 15, 2012
Gathering sap for maple syrup, Poland Maine (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)I’m home in Maine while my college is on spring break, and there are already signs of spring – albeit subtle ones – in my zone 5a Maine garden. All around my neighborhood, sugar maple trees (Acer saccharum) are sporting containers for collecting sap to make maple syrup.

Outside my bedroom window, the mock orange (Philadelphus) is showing new red growth.
New spring growth on Mock Orange (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
Spring buds on white birch tree (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) The white birches (Betula papyrifera) at the back edge of the blue and yellow border are showing off their new buds,
…as is the Forsythia in the front yard. Forsythia in bud (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
Melting snow in the garden, March 2012 (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) In a scene more typical of mid-April than mid-March, most of the snow has already melted in the garden.
And spring bulbs are already peeking up through the pine needles in the serenity garden. First appearance of spring bulbs (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
A few days ago, with temperatures in the 60s (F), I went out and began cleaning up the south-facing flower beds along the front foundation of the house – the earliest I have ever begun this task. When I cleaned away the debris, I was surprised to find new growth of Tradescantia already showing underneath.
Crocuses blooming in my Gettysburg garden (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) Several hundred miles to the south, in my zone 6b Gettysburg garden, spring blooms have already appeared. When I left there last week, the crocus blooms were at their peak,
… and these unidentified little white flowers were blooming in the back “lawn.” Unidentified tiny white flowers blooming in lawn, Gettysburg PA (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)
Forsythia buds about to bloom (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) Although the forsythia in the back garden wasn’t blooming yet, these green buds were a sign that flowers were imminent. (I expect to find this blooming when I return in a few days.)

I hope all of my gardening friends in the northern hemisphere are enjoying signs of spring in your own gardens.

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 in gardens around the world.

25 Comments leave one →
  1. March 16, 2012 6:40 am

    So exciting isn’t it? Crocus are just beginning to bloom here and the Daffodils are up and running. I’ll have to look at your Tradescantia to see if it’s starting to come up! Thunderstorms here, much rain, very soggy so difficult to clean up but I need to get started.

    • March 18, 2012 9:46 pm

      Kathy, We’ve been having glorious weather while I’ve been in Maine, but the ground is still thawing and very soggy for that reason. I spent some time today pruning spirea and discovered just how soggy things were when I knelt down to get closer to the lower branches. All the tradescantia I have coming up are in south-facing locations near reflected warmth from the foundation of the house; others haven’t put in an appearance yet.

  2. March 16, 2012 10:44 am

    So nice to see signs of spring! I love watching emerging buds and leaves. My lilac has actually started leafing out already – crazy!

    • March 18, 2012 10:07 pm

      Spurge, I’ve been finding excuses at least twice a day to go check on those emerging buds and bulbs. The warm weather has cut the maple sugaring season short, and my next door neighbor’s lilac has also broken dormancy. Let’s hope that spring is really and truly here and that we aren’t going to have some nasty blast of extreme cold to come.

  3. March 16, 2012 10:55 am

    Oh no, an early spring, good for you, not so good for me, still a month before I travel home.

    • March 18, 2012 10:09 pm

      Oh dear, Deborah; I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it’s still winter in your part of Ontario. I know how much you want to see your snowdrops.

  4. March 16, 2012 3:58 pm

    Jean your Maine garden is certainly waking much like mine…actually we have been so warm that by spring, I will have blooms that are 3 weeks ahead and the pond will be open…the 60s are going to 70s and near 80 for the week ahead…unreal!! Happy GBBD

    • March 18, 2012 10:11 pm

      Donna, it was near 80 here today; “unreal” is right! I was working outside in what would normally be far too few clothes for March, and I had sweat dripping into my eyes. It was nice, though, to dry laundry outside and to open the windows to let fresh air into the house.

  5. March 16, 2012 6:53 pm

    Oh dear, if your Philadelphus is showing growth, then I’m really convinced my native Philadelphus might have met its demise over winter. I thought it should be growing by now. Oh well, another trip to the native plant nursery! That maple tree is truly magnificent. I’d love to see maple syrup being made, in person, just once!

    • March 18, 2012 10:18 pm

      Clare, Next Sunday is Maine Maple Sunday, when maple producers in Maine open their sugarhouses to visitors. It’s an opportunity to see maple syrup being made and to sample yummy maple sugar products. I’ve never actually visited a producing sugarhouse in person; I just eat the results.

  6. March 16, 2012 9:48 pm

    Jean, it all looks so beautiful. What a difference the one zone makes. I am so looking forward to seeing your serenity garden this spring. These photos are great!

    • March 18, 2012 10:21 pm

      Diane, It will be fun to see what the serenity garden is looking like when I get back here again in late April. While you’ve been getting snow, we’ve been getting unseasonably warm weather in the northeastern US (almost 80F today in Maine), so I’m expecting to get back to Gettysburg and find spring busting out all over there!

  7. March 16, 2012 10:04 pm

    Spring is, indeed, earlier in our northeast gardens, but we won’t complain one bit … unless hit with a late season snow storm. Enjoy your early blooms in both of your zones.

    • March 18, 2012 10:23 pm

      Joene, I am definitely enjoying this early spring. At this point, I think even a late-season snow would melt quickly. I’m thinking, with things so far ahead of schedule, the ground may be warm enough for my morning glory seeds earlier than usual.

  8. March 17, 2012 12:51 am

    It is so nice to see that even in Maine…spring is just around the corner. Somehow it always seems somewhat magical. I just love it! Thanks for sharing!

    • March 18, 2012 10:25 pm

      Lucy, In the past few days, spring seems to have rounded that corner. Today, we had mild southwest breezes and temperatures in the high 70s; this is weather more typical of mid-May than mid-March! It does seem magical.

  9. patientgardener permalink
    March 17, 2012 8:21 am

    our crocus are nearly over and the daffodils have started to flower now. Beginning to feel a sense of urgency to get on with things

    • March 18, 2012 10:27 pm

      Helen, It sounds as though your garden is at a similar stage of development as my little Gettysburg garden. It has been unseasonably warm there, as well as in Maine, and I expect to get back there to find crocuses done and daffodils, hyacinths and forsythia blooming (which is what I had for bloom day in April last year).

  10. March 17, 2012 4:04 pm

    I love seeing these wonderful photos of the season about to begin. I haven’t had a chance to check my own garden yet but the snow is melting away rapidly as the temperatures have had started to shoot up. Feels like a very early spring this year.

    • March 18, 2012 10:29 pm

      Marguerite, I’m glad to hear that you’ve gotten to enjoy some of this warm spring weather, too. I couldn’t tell from the weather map whether PEI was getting the benefit from this weather system. If winter comes back in any serious way at this point, we’re all going to be in serious shock.

  11. March 18, 2012 8:14 pm

    Spring is definitely springing here! It must be interesting for you to travel between the zones you call home and to extend the season. Beautiful photos!

    • March 18, 2012 10:31 pm

      Kevin, I usually get a very extended spring, because my Maine garden when I arrive in May is usually at a pretty similar stage as my Gettysburg garden in April. During the years when my parents used to winter in Florida, my mother always described their trip north in May as traveling back through spring.

  12. March 19, 2012 10:48 am

    Jean, it is good to see the signs of Spring in Maine. The difference in the gardens of your two homes is much like that of southern England and where we live in Scotland, although this year it has been much less obvious.

  13. March 19, 2012 2:03 pm

    Such strange weather, isn’t it? I guess it makes up for all the long, dreary winters of the past. It’s still winter-like here in the Pacific Northwest. Although there is no snow on the ground, there were flurries this morning. I can’t ever remember a winter with this many snow sightings.

    I hope you had a nice break from college and enjoyed your time in Maine.

  14. March 20, 2012 11:35 am

    It seems so cool and crazy to me (as I live in the UK) that you guys on the other side of the pond can collect sap from trees and make delicious food from it! I absolutely love maple syrup…

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