The tree, adorned with sparkly strands, hanging from the ceiling at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show reminded me of some cool sparkly strands hanging from the ceiling in a hallway at the Detroit Institute of Arts. See?
Spring Comes in on Little Cat Feet
Around March 5, we still had lots of snow, but it was sunny and getting warmer.
The very first signs of green in my garden (this year on March 5) aren't aconites, snow drops, crocuses, or hellebores, but tiger lilies.
On March 9, I saw the hyacinths, the first bulbs to come up in my garden.
By March 11, all the snow had melted. Still, I admit spring is the worst time to have blogging friends in warmer climates. It makes weather that is natural and normal in Michigan seem stunted, lagging, and like it should be riding the short bus.
Fortunately, I have a close friend in Finland, Jaana, who sent me these photos of what her world looks like in early March. Here she is at her mailbox....
...and here's her hubby Matti shoveling their roof! That makes me feel a lot better, LOL!
Here, it's been really warm, in the 60s, but it's supposed to cool down and possibly snow next week. Which is entirely normal because it is still March and it is still Michigan.
A few years ago, I bought a little stick of a witch hazel for $8 at a fund raiser. Now, even $8 seemed like kind of a lot, all things considered, but it was for a good cause and I'd been wanting a witch hazel. It hasn't grown much over the years and is still more or less a stick. I wasn't expecting it to bloom this year, either, until Garden Girl showed her similarly sized witch hazel blooming, which forced me to go out and look at mine.
Jackpot! She is blooming! The flowers are only about half an inch in diameter. I'm not even sure what kind of witch hazel this is. It was labeled Hamamelis vernalis in handwriting as I watched, and only after I asked, by two amusing older gentleman who were arguing with one another in hushed tones about the species and each other's competency. They finally agreed to "just mark it Hamamelis vernalis and be done with it."
I had wanted the witch hazel native in Michigan, Hamamelis virginiana, and even called ahead of time to ask which species would be available. I was assured that, yes yes there now, that is what they had. At the time, I therefore thought I in fact did have a virginiana and that the confused gentlemen just mislabeled it vernalis. But now that it's blooming, I can tell I have neither, as both virginiana and vernalis have yellow flowers. I suspect I have a hybrid, probably Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane'. I still like it a lot, but, well, um, oh never mind.
James was excited to check out dried plants in the cat garden on March 5.
Fiona was pleased to be able to sit on wood, as opposed to snow. (She loves that old chair, which is her scratching post.) She had the cutest pose on the top of the chair, but by the time lumbering hooman came back with the camera, she had moved on.
Speaking of which, here's a rare instance of Fiona holding a pose until I got the camera!
I get lots of ducks at the feeders. They're nature's vacuum cleaners.
Also, the groundhog is awake from hibernation.
Seeds & Sprouts
This photo couldn't be more boring, but it shows a rare phenomenon here at Garden Faerie's Musings, one that hasn't happened in over 6 years: indoor seed starting. I've been happy winter sowing and had no intention of setting up the grow lights or clearing out room in my closet for seed flats (my house is small and I have very few open spaces elsewhere). A friend once grew Mary Jane in the closet and so I have vague fears about cops knocking on my door thinking I'm growing pot... when it fact it's cactuses! Yes, I couldn't resist a packet of mixed cactus seeds. I did try two with winter-sowing, but broke down and sowed the rest in a
Winter-sowing tip: If ice or snow turns heavy enough to bow down the lids of winter-sown flats, remove the snow. Otherwise, let it melt on its own.
Winter-sown sprouts: Of the 75ish variety of seeds I've winter-sown this season, here's what's sprouted so far (in order): turnip 'Purple-Top, White Globe' (above), pasque flower, annual baby’s breath ‘Convent Garden,’ lupine ‘Russells Prize Mix*,’ grass ‘Bunny Tails,’ catchfly ‘Carmine Pink,’ and morning glory ‘Ensign Red.’
Have a great weekend, everyone! I'm having dinner at my friend Pete's this evening and tomorrow my friend Amy and I are off to the Growing Great Gardens conference in Taylor.
*As an Arrogant Worms fan, I always parse this as Russell's Shorts, but that's just me!