Sunday, March 28, 2010

You'll pardon my absence at this phenologically exciting time of year. I was exercising a protest of the cold weather. I don't think the protest worked, but it made me feel good. Today seems finally a bit warmer... although it's still one of those days -- the sun is bright and the grass is greening and the days are lengthening and it seems like it should be warm outside and as soon as you open the door, you realize you've been hoodwinked. It is quite chilly out there.

Unfortunately, it seems, as is always the case, that the undesirables are the ones taking greatest advantage of the sunshine and scant warmth in the air. Dandelions and creeping Charlie are showing up in the yard, while the places where my spring ephemerals should be remain barren and brown. (I mean, unless there's a dandelion there.) I remember last year thinking plants wouldn't grow back and then they did... so I'm trying not to be too worried about them. But I guess that's just part of spring break.

And don't even get me started on the grass. The yard is starting to green up in many places, and already I am struggling with the grass problems I always have... where I want it (like the front yard) it's patchy, ratty and weak. Where I don't want it, like the vegetable garden, it's growing like gangbusters. (You'd grow there, too, if you could... it's the best soil, mostly sunny, the only place that gets watered... but the grass also grows unbidden in paver cracks, which wouldn't seem to be the best spot, and perennial beds...) I wish I didn't have grass at all, but it would simply be too expensive to replace it all with gardens in one year. Of course, I complain, but I have to say... most of my back yard has thick, green and mostly weed-free grass. It's just a few areas where it won't grow, and a few more where it won't stop, that seem to take over my brain and stop me from seeing the fine parts.

Anyhow, enough whining about turf grass. Here's some progress reports on some good guys:
Celandine poppies are popping up everywhere. I'm hoping, now that mine are very well established, for a beautiful display of many yellow flowers.
Shooting star starting to shoot.
Last year we put in 5 native black currants, thinking that edible landscaping plants was a genius idea (although last year being their first year, we didn't really get to eat any). Now I realize that there is another very real benefit... early leaf-out! In my yard, these are the first trees of shrubs to actually show their whole leaves, tiny though they may be. YEA!

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