Welcome Spring!

Growing up in New England, it always seemed that spring would never come. Then again, after enduring 4-5 months of bitter cold temperatures and multiple  Nor’easters,  it was no wonder everyone had cabin fever. Here in Virginia we are accustomed to turning our air-conditioners on by mid-May. Our friends in Massachusetts will still be bundled up in fleece and flannel while watching the Memorial Day parades.

I took a quick walk around the yard today searching for signs of spring between rain showers. We had two days of near or above record warmth last week, and that was just enough to bring out the robins and wake up some flower bulbs. Our daughter works at a local greenhouse and landscape center and she planted some bulbs for us last fall. I can hardly wait to see all those colorful blooms!

My walk revealed crimson buds ready to burst on our maple tree, and crocus poking through the soil. Spring is surely on its way!

I also discovered evidence of an unwelcome arrival: deer have already begun nipping down our grape hyacinth before they even had time to bloom. It’s a familiar battle, one that every local gardener has fought while trying to protect their tiny seedlings and ripening fruit.

Yet another sure sign of spring is when the veggie seeds arrive in the mail and every weekend includes a trip to Southern States or Tractor Supply. Now is the time to clean out the planting beds that we let go to allow the winter birds to forage, and prepare the bluebird houses for new occupants. Also, last year we planted native flowers specifically to attract more birds, butterlies and honeybees to our yard. We plan to do the same again this year. It will be a Pollinator Paradise!

So get ready with your trowels, rakes and gardening gloves. Let’s flip the calendar to March, welcome the DC cherry blossoms, and bring on the spring!