The snow is gone, the clocks get turned ahead tonight, and the temps have warmed. It can mean only one thing. Its time for working in the yard! I worked anxiously to clean up any reminders of the harsh winter, administered a little first aid to some injured plants and raked and dug around looking for any sprouts of green. I can see the daffodils breaking soil, and the buds on the forsythia and redbud are swelling. We are on our way!
While walking around the backyard woodland garden picking up broken limbs and pruning all the dead stuff off, I found Spring's first true color. My Vernal Witchazel has bloomed in spite of the miserably low temps and lack of sunshine. It is the first to bloom in the garden, but I was surprised to see it this early. A native, witchazels are small understory trees or large shrubs whose winter spindly blooms are the star attraction. Until this year, it's failed to impress me much, but today's little pop of color has made me a fan (tough one to photograph though!)
And, of course, you can always count on the weeds to be green, even after laying under 3 feet of frozen sludge. If this past winter didn't get them, then i stand no chance at slaying these buggers. Survival of the fittest at its finest.
Some things didn't fare so well. It was so windy this winter, I had begun to wonder if my arbor had blown away or something! Turns out I did a stinky job staking it, and it had fallen was just buried for 2 months. Good thing the Concord grapes haven't started to climb the arbor yet!
The birdhouse also myseriously disappeared and has now resurfaced. It too must have gotten blown to the ground and became quickly buried by all the white stuff. I checked for any tenants who might have been trapped inside at the time, but luckily for me, I found no birdie remains. That would have ruined my day. I definitely need a new one.
And, it wouldn't be winter without at least one deer fatality. Don't worry, the deer are fine. But my shrub is dead! This is a type of Euonymous that we rescued from a friend who ripped it up from his foundation bed. I hate to see a healthy plant kicked out onto the streets so I planted it. The only remaining leaves are on the limbs buried in the frozen snow. Its completely and utterly destroyed. Sadly, this little guy will end up as compost after all.
I should have been more diligent about spraying, but I got the winter blues early on and didn't feel like trudging through 3 feet of snow to do it. I swear by Bobbex spray and buy it by the gallon-full. I spray all year round, sometimes weekly, without fail. Every shrub. If you have deer, you need some. I know, I know. You've tried repellents and they don't work. Trust me, this stuff does!!!