Set backs and springs forward

daff cam 4-1-10It’s not often that little Rhody makes the national news. By now most of you have probably already heard that we just had a “100 year flood”. (Only we’re not supposed to call it that. – It’s just that the flooding here was worse than any on record. Ever.) The first rainstorm last week, while I was away, already set us back a bit in the gardens. It was too squishy-wet for Gail and the volunteers to prune roses or cut back perennials without compacting the beds and then this week was a washout. Literally.

Much of Bristol was under water on Tuesday, mostly because storm drains couldn’t handle the deluge, but compared to other parts of the state we were on the lucky side. All things considered, I’m happy to report that Blithewold didn’t fare too badly. The major damage was to our paths, which became a network of grand canyons. Visitors beware: the Shrub Walk is CLOSED until further notice.

The Shrub Walk river canyon on 3-30-10

Not only have the grounds become a slippery slope (everyone, please be careful walking around the grounds!) but spring seems to be suddenly sliding along at a prodigious rate. No fooling, the daffodils are refusing to wait for Daffodil Days (April 10 – May 2) and that’s why I included my first Daff Cam shot of the season at the top of this post. We’re hoping that they hold off peaking until at least the 10th. I’ll keep you updated.

Cornus mas (Cornelian cherry) 4-1-10Salix chaenomeloides 'Mt. Aso' - prettier than ever 4-1-10Magnolia x loebneri 'Leonard Messel' starting.a Knock-Out rose leafed out around last year's hips

Spring is coming along so quickly that I’m suddenly feeling a little panicked. The roses broke dormancy last week – right on time with the forsythia, which is a good week early as compared to the last few years. I’m desperate to get the roses pruned so they start sending all this good early energy into only the strongest canes. We still have a lot of perennials to cut back too and it’s so much trickier to do that when the new growth is growing gangbusters and getting in the way of snips. Not only that but now that spring is here and there’s everything to do all at once, I’m worried that in my busy-ness and hurry to catch up on the work I’ll miss my favorite season altogether. It’s an occupational hazard – but hopefully preventable. I want to hold onto each moment and see every unfurl. So with the sun set to be out all weekend, I plan to put my own brakes on and take as much of it in as I can. You too?

the sun streaming into the greenhouse - a welcome change from rain.

Do you worry that spring will go by before you can fully enjoy it? Maybe an early start to spring means it will linger longer? We can only hope…

9 thoughts on “Set backs and springs forward

  1. I was wondering how you were faring with all the rain. It’s snowing here with lows in the mid 20s; no buds breaking, but the peas I sowed are loving it. It sounds like your current weather qualifies for my meme I concocted at the blog….

    Susan, thanks for your invitation to the snafu meme. There’s certainly nothing normal about this situation… And is snow normal for you in April? ick! -kris

  2. Been thinking about you all at Blithewold while we cope with comparatively minor problems here at home.

    The experience of the Great Flood of 2010 makes me humble once again in the face of Mother Nature and what havoc she can wreak on we poor mortals.

    The persistence of gardeners is brave and touching as we go about mending the damage and nurturing the drowned beds.

    Carry on! We always do. xxx

    Well said, Ginny. We are a persistent bunch, aren’t we? I’m glad your problems are “comparatively minor” (though that makes me wonder how you really fared in the storm) and I hope you are able to enjoy this run of sunny days. I’ll bet spring is alive and well in your garden… -kris

  3. So glad to hear you guys weren’t affected so much. Crazy down there! I was thinking of coming to visit next month — any sense of whether the shrub walk will be open then?

    Andrew, I’m sure the shrub walk will be open long before then. Let me know when you’re coming! -kris

  4. So far there isn’t much to enjoy here. We still have snow. It is melting, albeit very (to my mind) slowly. Looks like spring is doing her thing where you are. Hope you can keep up and enjoy it all, too.

    Christine in Alaska

    Thank you, Christine. – We got a bit done today and that felt good! I hope your snow goes away soon – I would think it has worn out its welcome by now. -kris

  5. “Global wierding” is hilarious & brilliant. I’m so happy to read that it’s not as bad as in other places & that the plants are surging ahead with spring. And yes, I’m panicked. Tried to garden yesterday after standing around under the sun at the dog park in record heat (mid 80s, srsly) and got heat stroke! On my birthday! Had to lie down in the hammock and watch Chris turn the compost heaps. That would have been fun if I had not been so nauseated…Back outside to plant peas (I know, I’m late!) Happy Spring to you, Gail, and all at Blithewold :)

    Lynn, I wish I could take credit for “global weirding”… I can’t believe you got heat stroke – on your birthday, no less! Happy unbirthday and I hope you’re feeling better by now. (Though was that just a genius way to get out of having to turn the compost?) -kris

  6. I’ve been wondering how your daffodils were doing this year since ours bloomed earlier than normal. I feel like in general spring is 2-3 weeks early this year. But I also feel like we’re racing agains the inevitable rain so we’re trying to get lots done too.

    Heather, spring seems that early to me too – though my calendar says it’s only a week or two off… (I don’t really believe it.) I hope you’re feeling more caught up by now – I know I am. -kris

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