After more than a month, I’m heading north in a few days, returning to my garden in Quebec.
It’s been a strange winter… the winter that wasn’t, someone called it. So I don’t know what I’ll find in the garden when I finally arrive. I’ve heard that in the Eastern Townships, my part of Quebec, the ice on the lake is breaking up and has almost melted. If so, it is earlier than last year.
I also hear that all the snow is gone. If that’s true, the ground will be bare and brown and not attractive at all. But will the crocus be blooming?
Or the snowdrops?
Even checking with friends and family, it’s hard to know what we’ll find when we get home — bare ground or an unexpected dump of the white stuff. Last year, on our way north from South Carolina, we ran into a big snowstorm around Washington D.C. As we drove farther north the temperatures rose, allowing us to hope that we had escaped the worst of the winter.
Not so. Our first weekend at home looked more like January than mid-March.
The previous year conditions were just as bad — or just as good, if you are a skier. Even at the end of the month, snow was piled high.
But weather changes from year to year. In contrast to the photo above, check out the one below, taken on the same day four years earlier. On March 23 in 2010 the ground was bare, with no snow in sight. In fact, the grass was starting to green up around what is now the Gravel Garden, even if the clumps of fescue (Festuca glauca) in the Gravel-Garden-to-be looked dead. (As indeed they were.)
By early April that same year the daffodils on the berm were blooming.
It’s not likely that daffodils will be blooming when I get home this year, even with the warmer weather, but I could be happily surprised. I know I’d rather see flowers than snow. But one thing is certain. If snow is lingering in shady corners, the sign that the owner of our local grocery store puts up will be there: All in favour of spring? Raise your hands.
What’s happening in your garden? Are the daffodils and other spring bulbs blooming yet or are they almost gone?