Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Long Cold Spring

I was beginning to think Spring would never come.  The cold weather clung to us with an icy grip and refused to let go.  In mid-April we thought it was starting to retreat and the snow began to melt creating icy rivers of gushing water.

A river of melting snow behind our house
That wasn't the last of it though.  It snowed all day on April 28.  April 28.  All. day.  Thick fluffy flakes.  I wanted to cry  ...  and move South.

But the cold has now finally passed.  The snow has (mostly) melted and plants are beginning to show signs of growth.  I have begun the work of winter clean up and spring preparations.

The first task was to survey the winter damage.  The sheer weight of all the snow we had this year took its toll on the trees.  Broken limbs littered the ground and I spent hours pruning away ripped and torn branches.


Some trees were snapped right in half but the majority will survive.  Perhaps a little thinner than they were before.  Others received emergency repairs.


A large branch on this birch is partly split from the trunk and is being held together temporarily.  My hope is the bark will eventually grow over and heal the wound.  It's not a surefire solution but I'm hoping it might work.

Around the garage I cleaned out the flower beds, removing some old plants and making space for new.

Dead plants littered the beds around the garage

Post clean up things are looking a lot neater
Although the vegetable garden still needs a lot of work I have managed to plant some spinach and lettuce.  I'll need to work hard though to get beds ready for the big plant in the next couple weeks.  These tomatoes will need to move from their hut on the porch to larger quarters.


The same goes for the flower garden.  Tulips and daffodils are starting to sprout but they are having to work through a layer of dead leaves to get to the sun.


Lots of clean up is needed to get the garden looking good for summer again.

And it wouldn't be spring without a few household chores as well.  We finally got round to fixing up the front door.  After we painted the exterior of the house the door looked pretty ratty.  The old wooden screen door kept blowing off the hinges in the winter storms so we found a tight fitting storm door to replace it.  Then we decided that ugly old metal door had to go.

The screen door was replaced first with a proper storm
door but that metal door just looked wrong
We found a perfect vintage door to replace it but it needed some work.  Cracked glass was replaced, a new coat of paint was added as well as a brand new lockset.  This is the result.


It looks better than new and suits the house much better too.

How is spring coming where you live?

22 comments:

  1. Marguerite, Your new door looks wonderful. Here, when the snow finally melted (thankfully, we didn't get that late April snow!), it got suddenly warm and plants started to grow like they were on steroids. I think going from snow to lilac blooms in two weeks may be a new record for me. -Jean

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    1. oh wow! things are picking up fast around here but not quite that fast. It's amazing how quickly plants will take off with just a bit of warmth. They must be just as eager for spring to arrive as we are.

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  2. We are having a cooler spring than seems normal too. Nothing like your spring of course. We have the garden pretty much in shape now and are awaiting some warmer days. It seems we are needing a bit more rain. Hmmmmmm You just never know about Mother Nature. Your new doors look very nice with your house. Happy Spring.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. I've heard we could have a cool summer this year. I hope that's wrong, after such a hard winter I think we could all use a nice hot summer to compensate.

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  3. LOVE the new door - very smart! You must be so glad to get outside. We're fairing a bit better though we're still having some cold days, like today, and the furnace has kicked in a couple of times. Hope your tree repair idea works :)

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    1. Thanks Jane. I'm wishing I had taken the picture from farther away now, the glass in the door is quite similar to our windows. It matches perfectly but you can't see that! silly me. we've still got the furnace on too. the nights just haven't been that warm yet.

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  4. How did your apple orchard come thru the heavy snow?

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    1. Hi Diana, the orchard is surprisingly good. I did a trim of the branches a month or so back and everything looked in good shape. Buds are starting to open up now. It seems the smaller young trees were the ones that took the most damage. I suppose it's because the snow drifts went right up around them. As the snow compacted it put pressure on the limbs and that's where the breaks happened.

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  5. Hi,
    We are crazy busy here. I hope to plant this weekend. I am reminding myself I do not have to get all this done in a day or week. Gardening is an art and takes time. Enjoy :-) I keep reminding myself. ;-)

    I like your door. Very nice choice.

    Sadly, I think one of our apple trees is sick. It has a ton of flowers, but no leaf?

    Enjoy your time outside,
    Carla

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    1. Hi Carla! you're so right, we should enjoy this time and take it slowly. I always forget that at this time of year when I suddenly feel overwhelmed with all the chores to be done. Sorry to hear about the tree, wonder if it will recover since it's still flowering?

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  6. It must feel great to get out into the big outdoors and do a spot of clearing getting everything ready for the coming growing season. Thank goodness the snow has gone at last - it seems to have gone on forever in your neck of the woods.

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    1. oh Elaine, it is SOOO wonderful to get outside! Winters really do drag on a bit too long in this part of the world. But it makes the spring so much sweeter when it does come.

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  7. Love love the door!! Not to worry, everything will catch up and fast. Two weeks ago my garden looked like yours and now the tulips and daffs are in bloom. Hard to keep up with the bed clearing and I expect it will be the same for you. Happy spring ;-)

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    1. Thanks Brenda! we are so pleased with it too. After painting the exterior of the house it's nice to see all the details come together. New porch next?! Bed clearing seems like such a simple chore until I get out there and find myself spending hours cleaning up. Always takes longer than I think it will but it's so nice to clear away the debris and find green things. Take care ~M

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  8. Spring began over a week ago, then we had two very hot and humid days, and now the last few days have been chilly. Warm greetings from Montreal. :)

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    1. Hello to you Linda! Isn't it funny we've had a similar up and down in the temperature. 28 degrees one day and then dropping to 12 the next. Hopefully proper summer comes soon.

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  9. Whenever I want to complain about our mostly mild winters, I think about Canada. You're a tough bunch to make it through so much cold and snow. I have the same greenhouse you do. :o) I'm so glad your orchard made it through. Did you lose many trees to voles?

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    1. Hi Tammy! I don't know if we're so tough, we just get on with winter because there's nothing else you can do. No trees lost to voles this year!! yahhh. I think we learned our lesson and use lots of plastic tree guards now. Just lots of broken branches and there was nothing we could do about that.

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  10. Marguerite girl you have really been put through the wringer with this past winter .. we actually had a frost happen a couple of days ago .. that was a bit unusual ... lack of rain has been a problem too ... but I will handle my problems over yours with such a long wait for Spring!
    That door is gorgeous ! You guys did a great job redoing it and that storm door should do the trick !
    Hope you have lots of great weather now : )
    Joy

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    1. I hear it's going to be a hot and dry summer this year Joy. It hasn't been hot or dry here yet though, perhaps your weather will begin to move this direction? I have my rain barrels ready. I don't mind PEI winters so much but the long wait for spring really is tiresome. I just can't wait to get in the garden

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  11. You really had a tough winter this year, Marguerite. Spring started much earlier for us this year, and for once we didn't have a late frost. All the tulips and daffs are long gone here, so I'm looking forward to seeing your spring blooms. Your tomatoes certainly look good--I think they're bigger than the ones I just planted in the garden this week. Love your new door!

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    1. It always amazes me how much earlier your blooms are. My tulips have only just emerged this past week. Will post pictures soon.

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