This year it's been different. The weather has confused those things that grow - we lost our Oleanders, and the Bay tree growing near the house and Rosemary took some knocks (though they are still living). The Bradford Pear bloomed well in advance of our cherry. The Lilacs seem just thrilled with things, blooming away at a level we've not seen here before. Our poor eggplant and pepper seedlings would like to file an official complaint to mother nature - where is the evening warmth?
If I compare our weather this year with my memories of springs in Rhode Island, or New Hampshire, or Pennsylvania, it is familiar. This is what spring should be - some cool days, chilly breezes, some grey, cloudy, rainy spells.
Some of our annual tomato plant friends asked me whether the unusually cold winter will mean less diseases on our plants this coming year. Of course, we won't know the answer until we see how things develop as the season proceeds. But one thing is certain - this season will be different...they all are. Gardeners are great optimists. Each year we have delights, and (for years like 2013), more failures than we care to ponder. But we get to do it all again the following year - and with the same, if not increased, wonder and excitement.
I've just loved spending time talking with our seedling visitors - with all of you who make the trip. It is less rushed than the market - I've been able to give some transplanting demos, and show off the dark violet lilac that my grandfather grew in Pawtucket, RI over 100 years ago, and that made its way here to Raleigh as a seedling that my dad rooted 20 years ago. And now lilac Miss Kim is about to open its blossoms and perfume the end of our driveway.
The plants are great - keep coming! There's lots more to discuss!