Spring in the North

I think gardeners in the North might appreciate the spring season more than gardeners in the South where I gardened before moving. I love the dazzling Virginia springs more but so appreciate the northern springs when they finally decide to arrive. In the South, I think I took our springs for granted because they were so early. As soon as winter ends, the landscape bursts into a frenzy of color. In the North, spring seems to take an eternity to arrive. When it finally does arrive, I’m so happy that I wallow, I bask, I take delight in every little leaf much more than I did in Virginia.

Here in New Hampshire it can be a painful, cold, sometimes snowy wait for spring. Thank goodness, at last this week we are greeted by snips of spring green. I wore a heavy fleece this chilly morning as I walked through the garden looking for some spring clues and I found enough.  The emerging leaves of my Little Lime hydrangea is solid proof.

Little Lime hydrangea 2019

Clethra is pushing out tiny leaves and hostas are breaking ground.

Clethra alnifolia 2019

hosta 2019

We see the tiny tips of Baptisia, iris, daisies, some herbs, wild ginger and Epimedium pushing through the soil. We’re thrilled to see early plants like bleeding hearts below begin to unfurl blooms….

Bleeding Hearts 2019


….and my favorite woody shrub in the garden, the doublefile viburnum, is well on its way to splendor as it forms rows of blooms that will open to a procession of delicate white blossoms along the stems.

Doublefile Viburnum 2019

This year, I removed the 4 Incrediball hydrangea shrubs from the foundation of the home. They take soooo long to fill out in New Hampshire and I tire of looking at ‘sticks’ at the front of the home. They will soon be relocated just down the street and will be replaced by evergreens as a foundation plant… which one not yet decided.

Incrediball hydrangea 2019

Our 2 cubic yards of Nutri-Mulch, a 50/50 organic leaf/compost mix, arrived last week and has been spread over the gardens. Whew! It’s a great time to perform the task before fully formed leaves are on plants or perennials have yet to appear above ground. Now that the heavy projects are done, we can sit back and enjoy spring and wait for our mass of tulips and daffodils to bloom. It can’t be too much longer, can it?

Nutri-Mulch 2019


11 thoughts on “Spring in the North

  1. Your observations are so on target, especially for northern New England and the upper Midwest. Our spring is further delayed this year by all the rain — we can’t get into much of our garden until it stops being an everglade. Also, plants can’t do much until the ground warms sufficiently. Some years I can’t even spread the compost until its icy core thaws, like in mid-May.
    Wasn’t like this in Ohio or Indiana, even, and definitely not interior Washington state..

    Liked by 3 people

    • One plant that is thriving in this cold, wet spring is the grass in our lawn. We don’t have a big lawn but what we have is kelly green and the blades are reaching for the sky. I scattered grass seed in bare spots when there was still snow on the ground and the baby grass is thriving. I’m sure the weeds will be happy, too, when they begin to appear.


    • Between the challenge of your mega leaf removal and your plant sale, how do you ever catch up? But you do somehow and have time for quilting and Master Gardener native plant gardens.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We’ve been seeing signs of life here in southern New England for a couple weeks. Our dogwood is blooming and the Lilacs are just starting to turn. It does take longer, but I do think you’re right about appreciating it more. That’s living in four seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know I’m spoiled having lived in So Cal for over 25 years, but do remember waiting for spring having grown up in the midwest and then Denver for a number of years before we ended up in San Diego. Even in a climate like this, plants go dormant as part of their growing cycle and I love when they come back and explode in beauty. I so remember going from total brown in the midwest and Denver to vibrant green when Spring finally arrives. Your picture of bleeding hearts brings back so many memories!! The feeling of renewal is truly what makes spring so wonderful! Love your post! Thanks for sharing!


    • Yes, you are a bit (maybe a lot) spoiled by your glorious So Cal springs. Only the locals will recognize the subtle change of seasons. To a visitor, it seems like spring every day of the year there. Did you venture out to see the desert blooms?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I sort of get the impression that those in Los Angeles really do not even notice spring much. It is when the rain stops, and that is about all. We get more of it here, but is also the season when the rain stops; and we happen to like rain here. Our lack of distinction between seasons is why we do no sugaring here. There just is not enough time.


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