Friday, March 29, 2013

Cautiously Spring

While the temperatures are still cold, the skies are blue and that makes all the difference.  A bit of sunshine the past couple days has pushed back the snow once again and I decided to wander through the garden today and perhaps start a few spring chores.


My buddy decided to come along for the walk and inspect the premises.

Mostly everything is a dull brown right now but there were a couple signs of things to come.


Buds starting to green up and shockingly,


the noses of tulips pushing through the muddy soil.

I was pleased to see that my burlap tent managed to stay intact all winter long protecting my rhododendron.  


So if you were wondering, clothespins will hold up in 80km winter winds.

There are a half dozen mature white birches on our property and every year since we have lived here our first chore of the spring season has been tree cleanup.  


Numerous branches are shed throughout the winter storm season and must be removed before the grass gets cut.  It seems like a simple task but some years it has taken me several days to get it all done.  


Luckily it wasn't too bad this year.  I managed to clear the whole yard in just one day.   Now what's next?

25 comments:

  1. We are a little ahead of you. White birches don't last long here because of the heat and humidity of summer. Love seeing how your area is progressing. It is exciting just feeling a bit of sunshine and warmth. Have a great weekend.

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    1. I’m always amazed at the difference in trees and plants in different parts of the country. White birches are so common here, I don’t often think about the fact that they won’t grow in other places. We were fortunate to inherit so many mature trees, they are quite beautiful year round.

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  2. Oh, your snow is almost gone - lucky you! And buds swelling....so jealous. We've still got three feet of snow and Spring still seems so far away! At least the forecast says we're going to get to 0C in Manitoba tomorrow!

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    1. Norah, don’t be too jealous! Despite the warmer temperatures we still had snow this morning. We’re not quite out of the woods yet.

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  3. It always surprises me how such a simple task (like picking up birch twigs) can be a project that takes so long. I have been out cutting back perennials and die-back shrubs and it seems like it would take an hour or so in my little half acre, but it takes days! Happy spring.

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    1. I notice the same thing every year. Chores that I estimate will take a day often take three. Not sure if I’m underestimating the chores or overestimating my abilities.

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  4. I envy you your white birches, they do not grow well here. I'm glad there are some signs of spring and that you were able to get out in the garden.

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    1. No birches for you either? I really thought birch would grow farther south but obviously I was quite wrong in that assumption.

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  5. Nice to see your lovely spring sunshine, I think that's what I miss most - sunshine! It's been dull and overcast for months here in London, that is when it hasn't been snowing! Spring is coming eventually it sems :-)

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    1. I understand that misery. I don’t miss rainy grey days at all (in my former home). Blue skies make even cold weather bearable.

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  6. Clothespins! I love that some old inventions are still the best. Sometimes there's just not another better mousetrap!

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    1. Those pins were a last minute hack job trying to keep the burlap together. I was amazed, and thrilled, the whole contraption stayed put right through winter.

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  7. Lovely you are able to get into your garden. We used clothespins, AKA pegs :), to anchor burlap to stakes, to shield roses from cold north winds, at the university here in Prince George.

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    1. Great minds think alike! ;-) That’s exactly how I did it, wrapped the burlap around the stakes and used the pins to keep it together. My rhodo looks pretty good for it, lots of fat flower buds waiting to open.

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  8. Looks like your buddy was glad to get outside too! I wonder what's up the tree? We've had two glorious days of sunshine and plus temperatures but still have more SNOW in the forecast :(

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    1. birds Jane birds. They’re everywhere right now and that furry monster would dearly love to get his paws on them (luckily he’s far too fat and slow).

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  9. You did quite a lot. I still have so much to do, but it is mostly a pleasure to do it. It is nice to be back outside again. You are not that far behind us. We had a snowfall just last week, and the tulips are only a few inches above the soil.

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    1. Michelle, it was glorious to be outside again. Like you I just enjoyed being outdoors again minus a couple layers of clothing.

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  10. Nice shot of your buddy enjoy the Spring like day.
    Not bad if that's all the clean-up for around your yard at this time.We also have do do the same but hubby has a sweeper that goes behind the lawn tractor and what a time saver, it pick-up everything.
    So nice to see the heads of the flowers trying to push up towards the sun. It just puts a smile on my face.
    How are your apple tree's looking? Do you spray before they buds start to open. I see them advertizing for the dormant spray but have never used it.
    Happy Easter to you and hubby!! Hope the Easter bunny brought you some chocolate.

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    1. Don’t you worry, plenty of chocolate was consumed! At this point our orchard upkeep has been minimal - clearing out the weeds, putting down lime/compost and pruning. I’ve thought about dormant sprays a time or two, from what I understand there are organic vegetable based ones that I would consider using. I’m not sure if it would make a big difference though as most of our issues appear to be fungal based. Scab is probably the worst culprit and there’s nothing to be done about that.

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  11. I relish those first spring chores because I'm so happy to be in the garden doing anything. I have a shrub that could have used your burlap wrap this winter. I'll be giving it a try next winter for sure. :o)

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    1. Tammy, the burlap really is handy if you have sensitive plants or, like here, where the wind is a going concern. I was told the trick is not to wrap your plants directly but make a tent. I was pleased to find lots of buds on my rhodo this year so I think it helped.

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  12. Marguerite girl!
    You have been able to get out and do some chores already!
    I love birch trees, they are so pretty!
    I woke up to snow on the ground this morning .. not a lot, but enough to be discouraging .. but? it is sunny and as you say that helps.
    We have indoor chores to work on .. I will be working on my office walls .. sanding down boo boos ? priming for painting .. new vertical blinds to put up .. the house is still in utter chaos and it is making me edgy ? haha
    Nice shots and love the garden helper !
    Joy
    Clothes pins RULE !!! hahaha

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    1. Joy, the snow hasn’t entirely dissolved here yet. We had a good dusting first thing this morning but thankfully at this point in the year any snow that comes isn’t here to stay. In the meantime I planted seeds to keep myself occupied :)

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  13. Lovely to see new buds breaking out, am impressed at your work rate.

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