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Promises, Promises

March 23, 2014

forsythia swelling budsSpring did not arrive in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with the spring equinox this week, but the equinox did bring promises of spring.

Last year at this time, I had crocuses in bloom; and two years ago in the record-breaking warmth of March 2012, forsythia were blooming by this time. This year in late March, forsythia are covered with swelling buds rather than blooms, and my crocuses have not yet emerged from the ground.

But in a month that has continued this winter’s pattern of below-normal temperatures, the spring equinox ushered in a period of gradually warming temperatures and hints of spring. As I walked around Gettysburg, I saw snowdrops, winter aconites, and even some crocuses in bloom. Looking up, I could see trees budding.

trees budding

By Saturday, temperatures had risen into the 60s (F), and sunshine and mild southwest breezes convinced me that it was time to get out into the garden. I spent about an hour raking fallen leaves and pine needles and removing spent stems and foliage to see what was emerging underneath.

sedum spring rosettesEspecially in the small south-facing flower bed by the patio, I found several promises of spring blooms to come, including rosettes of new growth on sedum, emerging new foliage and buds of daffodils and hyacinths,
daffodil new growth hyacinths emerging
daylily new growth … and even some new green shoots of daylilies.
snow remains mid-afternoonA final promise of spring is the disappearance of this winter’s snow. By mid-afternoon on Saturday, all that was left of February’s mountain of shoveled snow were a few porous patches.Three hours later, basking in warm temperatures and late afternoon sun, those patches had dwindled to this. By the end of the day today, I think they will be entirely gone.

snow remains late afternoon

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30 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2014 3:14 pm

    My husband is just finishing cleaning out the driveway. Again. Nice to see those sedum leaves coming up! Cheers.

    • March 26, 2014 9:54 am

      Diane, I am a winter lover, but this is the point in the season when I am just sick of winter and ready for spring. I hope your husband doesn’t have to clean out the driveway too many more times before spring arrives.

  2. March 23, 2014 3:19 pm

    It’s 23 degrees here in upstate NY today but yesterday it did get above freezing and quite a bit of snow melted. I saw robins for the first time this Spring. Your post made me so hopeful that I went outside and to see if I could find any other signs of “life” and sure enough the daffodils had risen! How did they do that in frozen ground! Thanks for the encouraging report. I needed that!

    • March 26, 2014 9:56 am

      Amanda, I’m glad I was able to provide some hope that spring is working its way north and will get to you in the next month. We’ve had more snow and cold here, but they’re promising 50s later this week. I’m still waiting for my crocuses to put in an appearance.

  3. March 23, 2014 5:19 pm

    We have daffodils and cherry trees blooming in Upstate South Carolina, but the forecast is for a low of 25 on Tuesday night. Two steps forward and one step back; doesn’t seem like this winter will ever end.

    • March 26, 2014 9:59 am

      Marian, We had another coating of snow here yesterday. When I looked out at the white world (again!) this morning, I had exactly that same thought: “Two steps forward and one step back.” I do have faith that this winter will end. (In a few months, we’ll probably all be complaining about how hot it is 😉 !)

  4. March 24, 2014 6:43 am

    You must be so glad to see the end of the snow at last and what a joy to see all the emerging shoots.

    • March 26, 2014 10:11 am

      Chloris, We haven’t quite seen the end of snow yet; it snowed yesterday! But those emerging shoots do reassure me that the end is in sight.

  5. March 24, 2014 7:53 am

    I know you are happy that the snow has finally melted. We still have a foot of snow on the ground in New Hampshire and more coming tomorrow. I have heard from our landscaper in Maine that we have even more snow at our cottage. Spring is definitely taking its time this year. 😦

    • March 26, 2014 10:13 am

      Karen, Did yesterday’s storm go far enough out to sea to miss you in New Hampshire? It just brushed us in Gettysburg — nuisance value snow.

      • March 26, 2014 1:14 pm

        We were so lucky Jean, we are getting lots of wind but thankfully no snow which is a real blessing. 🙂

  6. March 24, 2014 10:47 am

    Thank you for reminding me about what I’ve missed — or not missed — since I’ve been in Florida. I hope it warms up for you soon!

    • March 26, 2014 10:14 am

      Kevin, If ever there was a good winter to be ordered to a warmer climate by your doctor, this was it!! They’re promising 5 days in a row of seasonable temperatures (50s) here later this week. We’ll see. (Have you ever noticed that the really good weather is 5-7 days out in the forecast and deteriorates as it gets closer?)

  7. March 24, 2014 2:38 pm

    Spring appears to be delayed but not denied. I hope those buds spring into bloom for you soon, Jean!

    • March 26, 2014 10:16 am

      Kris, When those spring flowers finally bloom, I will have trouble remembering how impatient I was waiting for them.

  8. March 28, 2014 8:21 am

    I am sorry I have to disagree with T.S., MARCH is the cruelest month! April always has evidence of Spring, but March’s end is almost never pretty!

    • April 7, 2014 10:21 pm

      Jayne, I can’t disagree; March is usually a roller coaster ride. It did “go out like a lamb” in Gettysburg this year; and although we’ve been getting a lot of rain, the temperatures have turned more seasonable.

  9. March 31, 2014 3:51 pm

    Wow that was fast for spring to arrive, but the warm temps help. We are still very chilly barely reaching 40. So only a couple of very early blooms while the snow continues to melt. There is about 1/3 to 1/4 left.

    • April 7, 2014 10:23 pm

      Donna, We are now having many days in the 50s and 60s in southern PA. Even though the season is far behind where it would normally be at this point, at least all traces of snow are gone. (I think it would even be safe to put away my snow shovel. 😉 )

  10. April 1, 2014 4:21 pm

    Last week we had snow on the ground. It has certainly been a spring where winter is reluctant to leave. However, I do see spring’s touch here and there, gently creeping forward.

    • April 7, 2014 10:25 pm

      Michelle, I feel as though we’ve turned a corner and spring is truly here. I finally have some flowers in bloom.

  11. April 3, 2014 2:49 pm

    What a welcome sight, signs of spring. I’m glad it’s finally happening for you. It was a long winter. Before you know it, you’ll be seeing flowers.

    • April 7, 2014 10:25 pm

      Grace, After this year’s long winter, spring is especially welcome.

  12. April 3, 2014 5:56 pm

    I love how brave sedum is. New rosettes of growth often form even while covered in snow. Spring has finally arrived here. Yay!!

    • April 7, 2014 10:26 pm

      Tammy, And it’s even moving north to me. I am hoping to see forsythia in bloom in the next couple of days, and I’ve started to see the first signs of new growth on my bleeding hearts.

  13. April 6, 2014 12:50 pm

    Hello Jean, your photos are lovely. Nice to see the beginnings of Spring. (and yes, I also love winter). Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada.

    • April 7, 2014 10:27 pm

      Linda, Even we winter lovers get tired of it by April. I hope you’re seeing some signs of spring in Montreal.

  14. CathyT permalink
    April 6, 2014 4:59 pm

    Such a long time since I visited you Jean. Glad I was just in time to see your spring begin to arrive. Actually, I wish we were still at that stage; we’ve had such hot, dry weather that everything’s fading too fast1

    • April 7, 2014 10:30 pm

      Cathy, It’s nice to hear from you. I’ve been very remiss in visiting others’ blogs (mostly because I’m in the throes of getting ready to move from my school-year home in Gettysburg). I had lost track of what was happening with weather in Europe. At the moment, it’s difficult to imagine that it will ever be hot or dry here (but I know we’ll be complaining about the heat in a couple of months 😐 )

  15. April 9, 2014 4:17 pm

    Glad to read that spring is finally making an appearance in your neck of the woods Jean. I’m sure that it will be extra special to make up for its tardiness.

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