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August, 7

Savoring signs of spring

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Spring comes painfully slow here, something that I’m alternately thankful for and tormented by. It’s nearly intolerable to see the beauty of spring, all fresh green and flowery coming to other yards in warmer areas when mine is mostly still brown. But the upside is that I always feel like I get a bit of reprieve on some of those all-important spring chores. 

I have a funny little problem in the garden. I want to rearrange a few shrubs, a few spireas here and a few more there, for the most part, but also there’s a new ‘Haas Halo’ hydrangea showing up early next week that I want to have a primo spot. Unfortunately I can’t remember what the heck the garden looks like when it’s not brown. I know where the spireas are, I just can’t remember which variety is where. Surely there are photos that can offer clues, but I haven’t dedicate the time to hunt them down yet.

Gardeners in warmer zones might be enjoying a tulip or two, but they are rapidly running out of time to move shrubs around when they are dormant, so I guess I have a leg up there.

The other benefit of spring that comes at a snail’s pace is that you learn to appreciate every little moment.

For instance, there was a bit of a celebration last weekend when the containers thawed enough to remove the winter greens from them. I enjoy that display all winter, but when you want it gone, you want it gone and for about the last month I’ve been ready to take a lit match to them. Which I would consider if it weren’t for the fact that the browning evergreens have the makings of a bomb by this time of year.

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But there are lovely little moments to be found. 

The first hellebore to bloom is ‘Spanish Flare’, just planted last year.

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Another hellebore is budded up nearby. 

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And the winter aconites are always the very first to bloom. Simple and cheery, they are a most welcome sight. 

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I can’t say I’ve ever thought much of tulip foliage and I had no idea the tulips I’d planted might have foliage that looks like this, but it is a delightful little surprise.

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