Preparing for Warmer Weather
Last weekend Montrose had what we hope is our last little snow storm for this winter. Large, fluffy flakes began to fall in late afternoon, quickly covered the lawn, and continued throughout the night but by morning, we had a snow-covered lawn and uncovered paths. Clumps of the smaller daffodils, Narcissus bulbocodium and fernandesii, never even bent with the snow and the day was warm enough for hand weeding in the rock garden and dianthus walk. The large planting of Arisaema sikokianum remained half open and those plants are only now showing their pure white knobs (spadix) below unfurling chocolate striped spathes. We spent much of this week weeding out a tiny blue-flowered annual veronica, which was growing vigorously in the sunny garden, and crowding out the poppies we seeded in November. We hope that more poppies will germinate and grow now that the beds are weeded. By week’s end we saw promises of warmer weather and above freezing nights here at Montrose so we transplanted calendulas and eschscholzias at the edges of the beds. Every evening we walk along the new primrose path now filled with plants just beginning to bloom. We walk over the next ridge to see Cyclamen repandum with flowers in shades of pink and visit our largest planting of C. pseudibericum blooming with deep magenta flowers along the road to the pond. The large planting of mid-season narcissus at the edge of the field has begun to fade and the next group are in full bloom. N. ‘Thalia’ grows south of the cyclamen walk and remains one of our favorites with twin white flowers. Let’s hope April is not the cruelest month this year!