Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Winter weirdness

If you saw my story yesterday (http://articles.philly.com/2012-01-29/news/30676220_1_zones-warm-winters-winter-aconite) you may have felt relief that you aren't the only one experiencing a springlike winter in the garden. Bulbs are popping 4-6 weeks early all over the Philadelphia region, along with forsythia, hellebores, azaleas and other plants.

Winter weirdness

If you saw my story yesterday (http://articles.philly.com/2012-01-29/news/30676220_1_zones-warm-winters-winter-aconite) you may have felt relief that you aren't the only one experiencing a springlike winter in the garden. Bulbs are popping 4-6 weeks early all over the Philadelphia region, along with forsythia, hellebores, azaleas and other plants.

This means our spring - which, believe it or not, doesn't begin till March 20 this year - may be a little less colorful. Which is too bad. Don't know about you, but I'm not ready for spring just yet. It's a little too chilly out there to be in spring mode.

I took a stroll around the garden yesterday. Just to see what's what. What a mess. We may not have had snow this winter, but we've had a lot of wind. It's "Pick Up Sticks" time again in my back yard.

Since I'm basically under construction at my house - more on this at a later date - I have the added issue of mud, lost plants, undone irrigation system and the general chaos that comes when your yard is dug up to install new drainage pipes.

On the one hand, this had to be done and after all, they're just plants. I get to redo about half of the garden and get it right - or at least, better - this time. Less maintenance, more appropriate plants, less crowding. On the other hand, wahhhhh! Years of purchases, divisions, work, and hard-fought trial and error are gone. As I said, couldn't be helped.

We'll see what survives. But for me, the coming spring - the real one, not this faux season - is looking more expensive by the day. Just when I thought I was done buying plants!

Oh, and speaking of bulbs, most of mine are gone. Dug up in the Big Dig.

 

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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