15 March 2011

Beware the Ides, or, On Spring

The stormy March is come at last,
With wind, and cloud, and changing skies;
I hear the rushing of the blast
That through the snowy valley flies.
- William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)

Mr. Bryant clearly wasn't from North Carolina.  He was, instead, a New Englander with roots on the Mayflower. He spent his adult life in New York City working for the New York Evening Post, a newspaper that was started by Alexander Hamilton, and has since morphed into the tabloid paper The New York Post.  In any case, he's not from the south.  If he was, he'd know about our Marches, which are normally warm and wet and green and bright with color.  Our March is New England's late April.

This year, it's been bone dry until recently.  The recent rains have sprouted new life into trees, flower beds, bulbs and birds.  After comparing notes with my mom, it does seem that some of the flowers down here are a little off on their timing.  I'm used to snowdrops and crocus blooming first...and early - same with hellebores.  Here in NC, nearly all bulbs they are coming to full bloom simultaneously.

crocus and anemone.


My gardening projects are never finished.  I proudly reorganized my garage, so that all of the garden related items are close to the front and are on shelves.  I spent time planting summer bulbs that I'd never heard of before (bletilla, persian buttercup, liatris), along with yarrow and delphinium.  Alex pulled up the dead rosemary bush, and I can't wait to get some additional flowers into that spot.  I planted a self-pollinating blueberry bush in a giant pot with a couple different types of thyme to keep it company.  Now, I just need to find time to create my tilted pot (or tipsy pot) display for the back yard.  Awaiting planting in that, and other locations are astilbe, African daisy, candytuft, speedwell, lavender, and, of course, grass seed.  The giant and I will most likely be digging up the backyard in order to have a better response rate from our grass seed.

Looks messy, but is a marked improvement.

And a little gratuitous food fun - I baked the giant a Chocolate Stout Cake for his birthday.

Chocolate Stout Cake with coffee ganache.

And lastly, we had salads last night which were largely from our own home grown lettuce!

Homegrown, baby.

At this point, I think the only thing to beware of on this Ides of March is the whirlwind of gardening that ensues whenever I'm at home!

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