I thought it was spring....

By Sharon Brown (Sharon) on March 31, 2010

It's the last day of March. It was spring eleven days ago, wasn't it? Then where are my blooms?

They say spring happens on March 20 around here. Something's wrong, because here it is the end of March and spring is eleven days late. 

OK, so I did have 7 daff blooms one day last week, and their little
 yellow remnants are still in place. But I have one entire row of them, probably 20 plants, looking for all the world like they are the picture of perfect health, all green and beautiful. But they have so few bloo2010-04-12/Sharran/3ddc55ms. You'd think each plant would have at least one bloom. 

The week before, I had 24 crocuses. That was a little better, but not much. (Actually I could have written croci, but somehow I don't like the way that word looks). There might have been more blooms hiding in the tight little cluster, but I only counted those I could see. And they only bloomed for a few days, seems to me they should have shown their pretty faces for weeks. 

On Sunday, three days ago, the forsythia burst open just like a sunrise. I could almost see it happening right in front of me. But I don't have a forsythia in my yard, so I had to look a2010-03-31/Sharran/cd0edbt the one at the end of my street. 

But let me tell you what I do have!

(This is a long story, so bear with me here.)

Late last summer I happened to be across the street visiting my good friend, Sandra. She was trimming her Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica). Standing idly by while she did all the work, I reached down and picked up a couple of her trimmings. Sandra chops her trimmings into small pieces, maybe 10 or 12 inches long, so I only picked up two of them. (The fact is they have stickers on them. I was taking no chances.)

She finished trimming and I finished talking, then I started my trek across the street and on my way home. Suddenly she said: "What are you going to do with those sticks?"2010-03-31/Sharran/733212

"Ummmmmm...." said I, "force them to bloom?"

"Ha!" said my friend, "in August in Kentucky?"

"Nope," I said. "In April in Kentucky."

She just laughed and shook her head, I walked on home. When I got here I took a walk around my house and as I did, I poked those two sticks into the ground. And promptly forgot about them. 

Seasons came, first there was fall, and as is usual for most of us, winter followed. We did not have an unreasonable winter, actually it cooperated pretty well. I left my thermostat set at 69* most of the time, and only shivered sometimes. Then came March.

I could not wait to get outside, and finally on March 20, I walked around my yard. I was disappointed. Things were green and growing, but it seemed they weren't as big as they should be. I think it might have rained on the 21st, so I probably waited a day or two before getting photos of my 7 daffs and 24 crocuses (croci for those of you who want grammatical perfection).

Then I wandered down to my roses, and yes, there was indeed growth and in some places, wonderful green foliage. As a matter of fact I might have seen a bud or two forming. And to tell the truth, both my 39 year old rhododendron and my 6 month old mountain laurel have buds. I was truly happy. 

2010-03-31/Sharran/af1009And then I turned a corner.

I looked down right there in front of me. Something had tiny little red buds on it. I looked a little closer. I could see really red buds, one had even opened. What was that thing?  I got down on my hands and knees. Japonica!  It was blooming!

I was so shocked my heart flipped. That crazy little stick was blooming. Now the thing is not more than 6 inches tall, and since I really don't trust KY weather in March, I hadn't even cleaned all the debris from around it. It didn't seem to care a bit, it was just so happy to be alive.

Oh, but wait! I brought home two sticks from Sandra's trimmings. Where on earth did I plant the other one?

Related articles:
blooms, flower, flowering trees, flowers, gardens, plants, spring, weather

About Sharon Brown
I am a retired art and humanities teacher. I am an artist and I am also a writer who has written a series of articles about the history and medicinal value of Kentucky wildflowers. The articles tell of growing up in the mountains of southeast Kentucky with my great Aunt Bett and Granny Ninna. I currently live in western KY.

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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
Untitled quilter5 Apr 4, 2010 9:29 AM 3
Spring does seem late gardener2005 Apr 1, 2010 6:21 PM 3
Love quince PollyK Mar 31, 2010 11:09 AM 5

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