Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Houston, we have green!

It has been a long winter. A very long winter. Even for Michigan, where winter seems to last almost six months, from November through April, at least as far as puttering in the garden is concerned. But we Michigan gardeners are hardy stock. We know patience. We like snow for insulating our babies. We accept our shorter bloom times with quiet resignation, and try to curb our envy when seeing pretty spring bulbs and blooms in the blogs of our dear friends in warmer climes (you know who you are!).

But by March, even we get giddy. We try to check our enthusiasm, of course, because we still have a while to go. Forsythia and daffodils won't be blooming until mid April, and we'll certainly get a few more snowfalls, and maybe even a major snowstorm. But as the temperatures slowly rise (it's 45F today!) and the snow melts away, our hope slowly starts to awaken and is looking for any excuse to soar. So we walk all around the garden, hoping to see the glimpse of green, any green, whether the leaf of a bulb or some basal foliage of a perennial.

That's why my little love in a mist leaves are so friendly to me--they are evergreen over winter and look so friendly and green against the otherwise brown, drab backdrop of March.

Today I walked all around my garden beds hoping to find some other green, hopefully even some brave bulbs. Disappointed, I headed back to the front door and noticed Fiona sitting up near the house in the area protected by the overhang. And then I thought I glimpsed some green... could it be... yes, yes, it was!... of, yes, one, and then two and then three and then a dozen hyacinth leaves about an inch above the soil. HYACINTHS!!!!! Oh, glory day, spring will come this year, after all! I have them planted near my front door because I love their smell and because the bulbs like it dry over summer, and that's about the driest area in my garden.

Did I mention, I have HYACINTHS?!?!?!?!?!?!?! (In case you're wondering, that's a branch of purpleleaf sand cherry Prunus x cistena, to the left, and Russian sage to the right.)

In other news, my friend Aunita and I went to an antiques mall in Howell yesterday, and I found the following loot:

I just love 1950s/60s retro kitchen gear, and the cherry blossom glass in particular just tickles my fancy. And I've wanted one of these plastic Santas for ages--usually he's on skis, but I like this version, esp. the pinecone tree with mercury bead ornaments. I think he was once holding a bottlebrush tree in his hand, but I can fix that. And the sweet little chicks are salt and pepper shakers, perfect for spring/Easter decorating!!!

Oh, spring, my heart sings for you.

Added March 11:
A comment about day lilies from MrBrownThumb reminded me that, yes, my tiger lilies are up, too. In fact, they're in a very sheltered location and they beat the hyacinths!


  1. Great to see your greens Monica - it never ceases to amaze me how they suddenly appear from nowhere. Here I am afraid to say that the snowdrops are going over and it is now well and truly daffodil time. Shall I duck ? :)

  2. Roger that, Monica. Tell the green shoots that it's time for lift-off. Over.

  3. One small step for daffodil, one giant step for Garden Fairie!

    Makes you want to do a little dance!

    Love the kitchy kitchen stuff! Looks like something that would have been on a shelf or windowsill in my mom's kitchen when I was a kid. (or on the chrome-legged kitchen table with formica top, matching chrome chairs with shiny red vinyl seats. . . ) And it's all coming back.

    Now I know for sure you'll love the 60's pink bathroom!

  4. I spotted some green today in the garden in the form of daylilies poking out of the ground, before the tulips even.

  5. Could winter finally be coming to the frozen tundra of the North? The hyacinths came out here a week or so ago, and I keep making excuses to walk down one enclosed path where I have them heavily planted.....it's pretty magical! Any day now you'll have that fragrance!

  6. Whoo Hoo! It does the heart and soul good to see green shoots poking their heads through the ground. I am happy for you. I saw a couple of tulips a couple of days ago and today I have dozens. I started some Love in a Mist today, so next winter I hope I have some green like you.

  7. Yeah for the green! Now it will come all at once and be simply splendid.

  8. LOOK at YOU! Spring is on its way and we're all so ready! :-) We have a few days of predicted very cold temps, but after that... I'm thinking we'll be looking forward to more Spring weather, too!

  9. Hi Monica, I wish I'd planted my Love in a Mist last fall so it had a head start. I'm really getting anxious.

    The weather is so fickle here. The sixties and then a plunge down to 9-derees this morning. That is so cruel.

  10. Anna,
    I don't mind others having spring nearly so much when I know mine is also on the way! ;-)

    Message conveyed to greens. Over.

    A local resale shop has an awesome, awesome formica table with ORANGE vinyl and chrome chairs, which would be just the right size for my tiny kitchen! I do love kitsch as well as mid-century modern. I would never kid about pink bathrooms!

    I forgot to mention it, but my tiger lilies are in fact about an inch above ground, too, and have been for a while. They're in a very sheltered corner and are really my first green to come up.

    Spring is sort of coming, but we'll have a little encore of winter yet. My hyacinths won't bloom until early to mid April, but there's hope and that's the main thing!

    Oh, you'll have love in a mist. I strew the seeds along the edges of my beds and they take very well. I have the cute leaves everywhere up front. But I love them!

    Michigan bulbs are a bit more tentative--when it rains they grow literally overnight... when it's dry or cold (we're back to highs near freezing, overnight lows in the teens), they bide their time. :) The hyacinths will bloom no early than April.

    Oh the joys of discovering green!

    Oh don't worry, the love in a mist will take and come up--they don't care about temperature variations as much as other plants!! :)


  11. Such patience you Northerners must have to get through the long days of winter. At least through blogging you can enjoy Spring a few times in one year. See the glass is half full! :)

  12. Hallo Monica,
    Ist es nicht schön wenn man das erste grün im Garten entdeckt?
    Ich hatte mich auch riesig gefreut als ich die ersten Winterlinge und Schneeglöckchen entdeckt hatte.
    LG, Sabine

  13. I am so jealous! I have nothing yet! ... :(But, I did order love in a mist seeds yesterday! )

    I have permission from my local town to go and dig up (Save) thousands of scilla before they get bulldozed over for a new town building... as soon as the ground is not frozen, I am off to dig dig and covet!!!

    They must be a VERY old variety, they have spread like blue ink! ...

    Im almost giddy!

    Hopped over from garden girl.. then wiggled my way here some how! ... Hi!

  14. Oh green is good...I have some..I think they are tulips coming up and it is still very cold. But there is hope isn't there? --Michelle--

  15. Hi Monica, hooray for your green! Hyacinths make my heart sing too. The fragrance, color and form are just to my liking. I have to laugh at your excitement about the 50's stuff. I do think those are cherry blossoms, with the pagoda type building, it makes more sense than apple. :-) BTW, fixed your flub, with none the wiser. HA

  16. My heart is singing with yours, dear Monica and Michigan pal! You must be feeling much better and do sound giddy ... but a 45-degree Michigan winter day will do that :) Yes, it's been a L O N G winter and we Michigan gardeners ARE hardy stock (work early spring gardens in freezing rain, sleet and mud). Yes, we know patience and often grit teeth looking at early spring southern gardens (but remember, though short, we have awesome summers and spectacular autumns). We'll certainly get a few more snowfalls, but we're almost there, Toots! (Hugs)

  17. I'm so happy for you that your Hyacinths are sprouting. Your Tigerlily/Daylily foliage is way ahead of all of my Daylilies, though they are starting to show some signs of life.
    Great antiques haul! I'm also a big fan of 50s stuff.

  18. Now that is exciting news! I love seeing those bits of green pushing up. I'm envious, covered in snow as we are here. Hopefully, your spring will continue to progress without any snow or cold temperatures!

  19. Yes, the countdown begins! I noticed on a USDA map the other day that Michigan is actually the same gardening zone that I am in. Must be that warm Lake air you get:) Like you, I've been seeing lots of green shoots emerge in the last week, including the daylilies just starting to peek through. Can't wait!

  20. Oh how wonderful for you. I have daffodils and tulips, the crocus are about over now thanks to being flattened by heavy rain! Some tiny red tulips are just appearing. Jealous?

    Love your peeping green shoots. Long may they grow.

  21. Thanks fir the tip on the other seed packets!!

    I love to use them as ephemera in my artwork...

    They are always so pretty...

    The Rhinestone Contessa

  22. Liebe Monica, mein Herz stimmt gleich mit ein in den Frühlingssong. Ja, der Winter war lang und ist es noch. Auch bei uns. Immer noch Grau in Grau, regnerisch, kaum Sonne. Man mag einfach nicht vor die Tür gehen. Eine Erkältung jagt die nächste, aber man freut sich über die ersten grünen Spitzen. Das ist jedes Jahr das schönste am Frühjahr.
    Liebe Grüße, Birgit

  23. Peri,
    We console ourselves with the thoughts of the hot, humid summers southerners must have to deal with. Oh, wait. We have those too. Banana bites!

    Ich habe auch WSchneeglöckchen, aber die sind noch nicht zu sehen (?!). Habe im Herbst zum ersten mal Winterlinge gepflanzt sowie etliche andere neuen Blumenzwiebeln... und erinnere mich nun nicht, wo was ist! Wird wohl noch alles klar werden.

    It's not often I get a visit from someone north of me--Hello Wisconsin! :) Even Anna of Ontario is now in Phoenix showing off wonderful color. But you can't be far behind me. I love scilla though for some reason I don't have any myself.

    I *think* I spied some tulips yesterday afternoon, but I'm not sure. There's always hope, it's just now VISIBLE! ;-)

    I do love both kitschy 19502/60s design and the classic, simple lines of mid-century modern, esp. Danish.

    You always have a way of sounding so wonderfully poetic about everything. I'm not a huge fan of humidity, so our summers don't rock my world, but I agree spring and fall are awesome!!!

    The day lilies are in a very sheltered location, tucked between the house foundation, the deck, and the air conditioner, so I think they're earlier than my others (which are in the back 40... I should walk out to them and check!). I always found the 1950s stuff tacky and one day something clicked and I love a lot of it now!

    Thanks for stopping by. Oh, it will definitely snow again before mid April. This IS Michigan! The temps are really cold--int he teens, and I wish we DID have snow cover!

    Yep, we here in southeastern Michigan are in the same zone as you, though most of the lower half of the lower peninsula is one zone colder and as you head north, some of the upper peninsula is as low as zone 2! Lake Michigan is about three hours away and doesn't affect us; Lakes Erie and Huron are closer, but the southwestern part of Ontario borders my part of Michigan, not the lakes. It's really the greater Detroit urban heat island effect that makes us a zone warmer than most around us. (Sorry. I like geography and weather.)

    Hello again to you in Ireland. I've envied your more moderate temperatures for years!

    Yes, I like seed packets with cute drawings!

    Es freut mich dass Du dich besser fuehlst und das Fruehling auch bei Euch irgendwan kommt. Ich lebte 6 Monate in Stuutgart und es hat fast jeden Tag von Januar bis April geregent. Hier ist es zwar viel viel kaelter, aber das nasse graue fand ich trauriger als Schnee!


  24. Finally! I also saw some green in my garden, albeit snowbells. No bulbs yet. But doesn't it feel great?

  25. Monica!How exciting for you to see
    GREEN in the garden!!
    I am loving all the green and sunshine here in AZ..wish you were here..I'm showing more of DBG of Phoenix..for you!!sending sun your way..NG

  26. Es ist doch jedes Jahr schoen, wie sehr wir uns ueber die kleinsten gruenen Austriebe freuen, nicht wahr? Nur geduldig sein, auch zu dir wird der Fruehling kommen:)
    LG, Bek

  27. I can only image how hard on a gardener's patience a Winter this long must be. Even I am very eager for everything to speed up! Can harldy wait for your Hyacinths!!!