Archives For snow

Waking up to snow flurries and freezing temperatures puts a damper on any northerner’s mood. After all, it’s officially spring now, right? Mother Earth will just take her own sweet time, and up here in the chilly Zone 3, gardens are still sleeping beneath frozen ground.

Braving the cold wind this morning, I pulled on my parka and my wool hat and stepped out to look for any bulb tips after a few warm days melted back the snow cover. Nothing in the front but it did have deeper snow. But in the backyard it’s more sheltered against the wall of the garage and… JOY!

A dozen tulips poking above the surface of the cold soil. Only a half an inch/couple of centimeters, but their brave presence delights me nonetheless. Then another gust of wind whips more tiny ice pellets at my face, chilling my ungloved hands until I retreat back indoors to warm up.

Looking out at the bleak, grey skies I realize I must go see my local florist. I need more evidence of spring, and I need it now!

Store-bought tulips, to the rescue. I made the sales clerk laugh with my standard silliness. She asks, ‘How are you today?’ ‘Well,’ I said somberly but with a twinkle in my eye, ‘I’m having a flower emergency.’ She laughs, ‘A flower emergency?!’ ‘Yes! Here I am out at a store, haven’t done my makeup or hair (I gesture to my toque covered head) and I feel like I can’t get anything done on this miserable day until I get some flowers.’ Like I said, tulips to the rescue!

Since the ones growing in my yard are still weeks away from blooming, these tulip blooms are brightening my home today, and my mood. Now, after sharing with you my dear readers, off I go to get some more work done. Thank heavens for florists!

My front yard, today. . .

My front yard last summer!

ART BY TOM BROWN

ART BY TOM BROWN

It’s nearly March and I’m dreaming of Spring! The actual season is a long ways off, mind you. Sure, I might be counting the days until the Vernal Equinox (25!) but the number of weeks until I can begin gardening is 12, not 3 and a bit. Yup, twelve whole weeks to go!

Although many gardening enthusiasts (myself included) start working in the garden on the third weekend in May, it’s recommended to wait until the first of June because where I live in Zone 3b we can easily have frost any day in May. But for me, if the weather seems fine I’ll risk up to half of my seedlings and bedding plants by ‘jumping the gun’ and planting out around the 20th of May.

ART BY JEAN HAINES

ART BY JEAN HAINES

However here we are entering the last week of February, and hardening off and planting out my gardens is far away. So I’ve been busy with a fruitful winter activity: organizing. As I recently posted about, my home office area has been completed. So I’m onto other areas, specifically the kitchen cupboards and pantry, as well as my hall closet. In a small house things can get cluttered quickly so diligence is key.

As with many things in life regarding growth and improvements, it often gets worse before it gets better. I remind myself this as I clean out under the sink, empty a closet, or sort through a junk drawer. Everything must come out, and what a mess it makes! Remembering ‘everything gets worse before it gets better’ helps me remain undaunted as I keep my eye on the organized prize and plow through the sorting and purging process.

ART BY JACQUELINE GNOTT

ART BY JACQUELINE GNOTT

I’ll post about my organizing process soon and share how I get through the clutter to the sweet prize of enjoying organized systems, but for now I will share lovely thoughts of spring. Even as the temperature drops again to -25C and my recently thawed windows have frozen shut once again, I am dreaming of daffodils.

Daffodils! Those stalwart stewards of Spring, hardy bulbs of beauty bursting up through half-frozen ground to herald the return of the growing season.

ART BY RUTH S. HARRIS

ART BY RUTH S. HARRIS

As I gaze out icy windows at foot high mounds of snow on my perennial gardens, I take heart that beneath that blanket of snow are tenacious tiny bulbs that will bloom before anything else.

Tall purple fireworks balls of Alliums, clusters of sky-blue Chionadoxa, spreading carpets of Muscari, and of course all kinds of cheerful Narcissus. Under that blanket of snow are waiting cheerful messengers of Spring, my heralds of hope. No one can see them, but I know they are there. Dynamic bulbs of beauty that will bravely bloom first.

Their presence gives me hope and the glow of warming sunshine in my heart. Wishing you the joy of lengthening days bringing the effervescent promise of Spring.