A touch of spring

March 26th, 2020 | 14 Comments »

Envy is not an admirable trait but I have to confess that at this time of year, when gardeners even a short distance to the south of me are picking daffodils and beginning to smell the roses, I am envious. Here, in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, patches of snow are still much in evidence and where the snow has melted, the ground is soggy, squelching underfoot.

Yesterday, though, my heart brightened when I saw the first crocus in bloom.

Nothing says spring more than yellow crocus!
Nothing says spring more than yellow crocus!


I agree, these little blossoms are nothing when compared to the swathes of colour I see from gardens in England or British Columbia or states in the U.S. southeast. Or with the extraordinary display of Texas bluebells that I was looking forward to seeing in April, when I was scheduled to speak in Austin. (Check out Pam Penick’s blog here for some fabulous photos of what I might have seen.) Still, even these modest displays say that spring will come, even this year when so many around the world are suffering, sick and dying.

So I rejoice in the crocus and in the snowdrops that are blooming everywhere.

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The daffodil foliage just beginning to emerge lifts my spirits.


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In the woods, the snow cover is still heavy in spots, but even there it is beginning to melt.


The snow-free spots on this hillside are warmer. Why?
The snow-free spots on this hillside appear around the base of trees and shrubs, sometimes even around piles of leaves which warm up faster than frozen or soggy ground.


Water is pouring over the waterfall, as more snow upstream melts.


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So spring is definitely on its way. All I can say is, hurry up, please!

More Advice

March 2nd, 2020 | 10 Comments »
Last week I advised myself not to set overly ambitious garden goals for 2020. I must have been under the weather. This week, I'm back to normal, aiming to accomplish most of the goals I set myself even while acknowledging that doing that will mostly likely be impossible. Although I set six goals for the year, I made only one resolution, which was to photograph one part of the garden every month. Anne Wareham of ThinkinGardens, a site that posts interesting and provocative blogs from around the world, did this last year in her own garden,