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Waiting for Spring: GBBD, March 2013

March 15, 2013

March snow coverIn both my Pennsylvania and Maine gardens, I am still waiting for spring. The forced forsythia branches that bloomed in a vase on my dining room table from early February through the first week in March are now drooping and spent – but I don’t yet have any outdoor blooms to replace them. Last year, I had crocus blooms in my Gettysburg garden in early March and forsythia in bloom soon after, but these flowers are still another week or two away this year. My Maine garden, which had new growth of bulbs beginning to show at this time last year, still has snow cover this year.

After last year’s sped-up spring, it is a relief to have a more normal winter this year(especially in Maine where there has been quite a bit of snow); but I also find myself impatient for spring to begin.

Happily, my faithful cyclamens are still blooming on the window ledge (even if they are beginning to slow down a bit.) And, to tide me over until spring, Hippeastrum ‘Apple Blossom’ has graced me with March blooms.

bicolor cylamen

apple blossom amaryllis

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.

35 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2013 11:55 pm

    With beautiful flowers indoors I’m sure you will make it through the winter. Spring is on its way!
    Lea’s Menagerie

    • March 17, 2013 10:11 pm

      Thanks for visiting, Lea. I know that spring is on the way, but it sure is taking it’s sweet time getting here. That will make it all the more precious and enjoyable when it finally arrives.

  2. March 16, 2013 2:39 am

    I just adore ‘Apple Blossom’. What a fabulous sight when outside is white.

    • March 17, 2013 10:12 pm

      Bernie, I love ‘Apple Blossom,’ too. It’s the perfect bloom for late winter, because it really does remind me of the colors of flowering fruit trees in spring (which I hope to see soon!).

  3. March 16, 2013 6:53 am

    Jean, like you, I’m happy with this more typical winter to spring cycle and having spring bulbs emerge on a more expected time table.

    • March 17, 2013 10:17 pm

      Joene, It is quite a contrast from last year. Today, I was outside pruning summer-blooming spirea, all bundled up against temperatures in the 20s. (I need to go back to Gettysburg in a couple of days and this task can’t wait until I get up here again in late April). Last year, I did the same task in shirtsleeves with temps in the 70s. But I also suffered a lot of deer damage last year because plants came up before I was here to leave my scent around the garden.

  4. March 16, 2013 7:02 am

    I hope spring finds it way to you soon. I have never tried forcing anything like Forsythia – I shall have to read up about that. I’m getting itchy fingers and must resist the urge to plant anything outside yet. I have trays of cuttings taken last year taking up space in the greenhouse, but without a coldframe there they shall stay until it warms up a little. I need the space to start my seeds though so I may have to hide them in the house somewhere. I shall take a look at The Patient Gardener as you recommended- sounds interesting.

    • March 17, 2013 10:19 pm

      Mici, Forsythia is the easiest of plants to force. Just do some judicious pruning, bring the branches indoors and put them in a vase of water, and they’ll start blooming in a week or two. Mine lasted about a month blooming indoors. I don’t have to worry about resisting the urge to start digging in the garden, since the ground is frozen and much of it is still under snow.

  5. March 16, 2013 8:52 am

    I don’t ever remember having to worry so much about the potted plants in my nursery as I have had to this year, and that’s 21 years in business. The temperatures are going down just low enough, 28 degrees on Thursday night, to make moving them—hundreds of them—in and out of the garage a necessity. You are lucky all your plants are safely below ground where they belong.

    • March 17, 2013 10:21 pm

      Carolyn, I’m in Maine, where the temperature is supposed to go down close to 0 tonight. What!?!? At least I don’t have tender nursery plants that need to be protected. Let’s hope March turns its lamb face toward us soon.

  6. March 16, 2013 12:52 pm

    We are having a late spring as well, though the snowdrops are up. I’m watching more snow come down right now, hope it doesn’t accumulate.

    • March 17, 2013 10:23 pm

      Jason, I’m not sure if this is a late spring for us, or just late compared with last year’s extra early spring. I’m watching the weather forecasts since they’re now predicting more than a foot of snow for Tuesday, the day I’m supposed to fly back to PA. This weather excitement gives life a little bit of an extra edge. 😐

  7. March 16, 2013 4:01 pm

    That foot of snow we had last week just disappeared in the warm weather. I still have some big piles on my back porch in total shade, probably another month for those to melt.

    Enjoy your pruning.

    • March 17, 2013 10:25 pm

      Reed, It wasn’t the best day for pruning (with temps below freezing), but I won’t be back here until after the plants break dormancy. I’m wondering if this is going to be a year like 2011, when I found icy remains of snow banks along the side of my driveway when I came up to Maine to do spring clean-up in the garden in late April. It does seem as though winter is reluctant to depart.

  8. March 16, 2013 4:03 pm

    I fear Jean we are going to have to wait much longer this year. I will be happy if I see spring weather by Easter as it will not be here for the equinox.

    • March 17, 2013 10:27 pm

      Donna, It’s definitely not spring yet here, either. Even so, the longer days and stronger rays of the sun will melt the new snow that is coming quickly. And spring really will get here sometime in the next few weeks! (These cold nights have been very good for the maple sugar harvest.)

  9. March 16, 2013 8:26 pm

    It is such a true gift to be able to enjoy spring twice each year. The experience in Maine and in Pennsylvania each having their own signature and character.

    • March 17, 2013 10:29 pm

      Charlie, It’s so true. April is not a great month in Maine, but it is wonderful in southern PA. After I make my “spring break” visit to Maine in mid-March each year, it’s always a pleasure to go back and enjoy the long, sweet Pennsylvania spring. Just about the time it starts to turn from spring into summer, I get to drive north to Maine and experience spring all over again.

  10. March 17, 2013 12:23 pm

    I know that feeling of wishing spring would hurry up a bit. The swinging temperatures of early spring is so difficult. I just want to get out in the garden as soon as possible.

    • March 17, 2013 10:31 pm

      Marguerite, Is this nor’easter that’s supposed to hit here on Tuesday headed your way afterwards? March is definitely a tricky, changeable month in our climates.

  11. March 17, 2013 9:38 pm

    You have offered yourself some lovely comfort with those beautiful indoor blooms. Spring seems to be just giving us a peek.

    • March 17, 2013 10:32 pm

      Michelle, I like winter, but indoor blooms are important to my sanity during the long white months.

  12. March 18, 2013 6:53 am

    Jean, I was just remarking to Myra about how very late the Crocus are this year. I will be old fashioned and say perhaps its a sign that we will have a good Summer.

    • March 22, 2013 9:34 pm

      Allistair, I like the idea that a late spring foretells a good summer. I hope you are right.

  13. March 18, 2013 8:33 am

    A visit from a friend who has moved to Maine year-round included a recounting of the many feet of snow that was dropped there this past Winter! It will take awhile for it all to melt, she says! My crocus were blooming this week end and the hellebores are pushing forth, so you should have something to see when you return to PA! You are usually a week or two ahead of us in CT.

    • March 22, 2013 9:36 pm

      Jayne, Is your friend living somewhere close to the Maine coast? Many of the big snowstorms this year were coastal storms that dropped far more snow along the coast than further inland. My friend in Portland had far more snow than I had just 30 miles further inland in Poland. Even in Portland, though, an amazing amount of melting has been happening in March.

  14. March 18, 2013 1:10 pm

    Wow Jean, love that ‘Apple Blossom’ – is it one of the amaryllis, hippeastrum that you were trying to rebloom from last year? Hope it was in time for your birthday – hope it was very happy. It was 9° here this morning, better than the 2° I expected I suppose. Most of our snow is gone – all that remains are patches, but the river looks like the antarctic with all the ice sheets floating about. It is cold. Not much hope for spring here either in the next week. I think there’s a snow storm in the forecast. Those poor little, brave, shivering crocus…

    • March 22, 2013 9:41 pm

      Kathy, This is actually one of my old $5 supermarket bulbs that last bloomed 3 years ago (in February 2010) and has been “resting” (and also dividing) since then. I love this flower, and I especially love it at this time of year. It really does live up to its name and seems like a harbinger of spring. Even if it only blooms once every few years, it is still earning its keep!

  15. March 19, 2013 4:21 am

    Oh i hope your cold will finish sooner. We are having the heat and difficult to come out of the building through our hot and humid environment. We are now at 34.4C temps and still roaring high. By the way, i love that amaryllis, i hope you plant the spent bulb again so it will come alive again next time. We don’t have much amaryllis here, so i posted in FB that “i hope my friends abroad will give me amaryllis bulbs”. I already have 3 Filipino friends abroad who responded, i am so glad, haha!

    • March 22, 2013 9:45 pm

      Andrea, We are barely managing 34F temps!! It is an unusually cold March, with strong winds making the cold temperatures even more uncomfortable. I suppose this will make us appreciate spring all the more when it finally gets here.

      I can’t plant the spent amaryllis bulbs outdoors in my climate, because the winter cold here will kill them. So instead, I try to keep them alive and happy growing in pots in the house. I am happy to hear that your friends are sharing their amaryllis bulbs; you can show them off when they bloom. 🙂

  16. March 19, 2013 6:57 pm

    Wouldn’t you think us gardeners would be patient by now? But it’s hard to wait for spring every year. Yesterday I looked outside twice and it was snowing – not enough to stick, but still yucky. Hang in there!

    • March 22, 2013 9:47 pm

      VW, The northeast has been having temperatures 10-15 degrees below average for this time of year. This morning, I started to wonder if my thermometer out on the patio was stuck on 29F! It makes me all the more impatient for spring. I left Maine in snow earlier in the week, and we may get snow in Pennsylvania at the beginning of next week. Enough, already!

  17. March 23, 2013 4:31 pm

    Go away snow! The apple blossom is so beautiful.

  18. March 24, 2013 4:08 pm

    Hi Jean, your Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) is the same one as I have – “Apple Blossom”, I love its pink and white trumpet flowers. Ours is a little further behind than yours, at the moment, there are four curled up flower “pods” slowly opening out atop a huge 2’5 spire! I can’t wait for it to open out in the next two weeks.

  19. March 27, 2013 2:11 am

    Indeed, spring is just around the corner. As your cyclamens are blooming very well.

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