Tag Archives: March weather

Is Anything Blooming at Glen Villa?

March 19th, 2016 | 4 Comments »

After more than a month, I’m heading north in a few days, returning to my garden in Quebec.

It’s been a strange winter… the winter that wasn’t, someone called it. So I don’t know what I’ll find in the garden when I finally arrive. I’ve heard that in the Eastern Townships, my part of Quebec, the ice on the lake is breaking up and has almost melted. If so, it is earlier than last year.

 

I took this photo in mid-April last year.
I took this photo last year on April 17 when water levels from melting ice were high. Floating on the water are two wooden section of deck that in summer are on the beach. Under water you can see part of the dock.

 

I also hear that all the snow is gone. If that’s true, the ground will be bare and brown and not attractive at all. But will the crocus be blooming?

 

Crocus on the lawn at Glen Villa, April 2015.
Crocus on the lawn at Glen Villa, April 23, 2015.

 

Or the snowdrops?

 

These snowdrops were blooming on March 23 in 2012. We're scheduled to arrive in Quebec that day.
These snowdrops were blooming on March 23 in 2012. We’re scheduled to arrive home that day.

 

Even checking with friends and family, it’s hard to know what we’ll find when we get home — bare ground or an unexpected dump of the white stuff. Last year, on our way north from South Carolina, we ran into a big snowstorm around Washington D.C. As we drove farther north the temperatures rose, allowing us to hope that we had escaped the worst of the winter.

Not so. Our first weekend at home looked more like January than mid-March.

 

This was the view over the Big Lawn on March 15, 2015.
This was the view over the Big Lawn on March 15, 2015. Could the Ides of March have been responsible?

 

The previous year conditions were just as bad — or just as good, if you are a skier. Even at the end of the month, snow was piled high.

 

The path to the garage was lined with snowbanks on March 23, 2014.
The path to the garage was lined with snowbanks two years ago, on March 23, 2014.

 

But weather changes from year to year. In contrast to the photo above, check out the one below, taken on the same day four years earlier. On March 23 in 2010 the ground was bare, with no snow in sight. In fact, the grass was starting to green up around what is now the Gravel Garden, even if the clumps of fescue (Festuca glauca) in the Gravel-Garden-to-be looked dead. (As indeed they were.)

 

On March 21, 2010
I don’t know if the fescue died because of winter conditions or because I divided and transplanted it too late the previous year. I think I was the assassin.

 

By early April that same year the daffodils on the berm were blooming.

 

I took this photo of daffodils in bloom on the berm above The Skating Pond on April 4, 2010. I'm surprised to see how many were blooming.
I took this photo of daffodils on the berm on April 4, 2010. I’m surprised to see how many daffodils were blooming then. Because the varieties are mixed, blooms on the berm continue for almost six weeks.

 

It’s not likely that daffodils will be blooming when I get home this year, even with the warmer weather, but I could be happily surprised. I know I’d rather see flowers than snow. But one thing is certain. If snow is lingering in shady corners, the sign that the owner of our local grocery store puts up will be there: All in favour of spring? Raise your hands.

 

Gloves lost over the winter are there for the taking. I'd rather take the tulips, even if they are made of wood.
Gloves lost over the winter are there for the taking. I’d rather take the tulips, even if they are made of wood.

 

What’s happening in your garden? Are the daffodils and other spring bulbs blooming yet or are they almost gone?