Monday, March 25, 2013

March in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia

daffodils in March snow“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens,  To this famous quote I add, ‘and then it snowed.’
“It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”  ~Mark Twain
I heartily agree, and so I worked in my gardens on Saturday, quite mild out really, and daughter Elise  helped, which was greatly appreciated by this weary gardener. We got the peas and early greens…lettuce, bright lights Swiss chard, spinach, pok choy…plus radishes and assorted kinds of beets planted. *All heirloom seed. I added three Crimson rhubarb roots to the patch of red rhubarb. Only the traditional ‘been here forever’ green variety is reliably robust, but we keep trying. And then Sunday, Palm Sunday, (the little children were so precious at church waving their palms) it began to snow about mid afternoon. Same thing happened last Sunday. By this morning we have at least ten inches of the white stuff covering everything.
Elise went out yesterday with her camera at the start of the snow and took some lovely shots. Our old red barn with pussy willow in foreground.
snowy pussywillow by the old red barn on march 25
“Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, “An Easter Hym
I hope the snow clears out by next weekend, which is Easter. Too early this year for me, but there it is. And I do love Easter whenever it comes.
“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.” ~Ruth Stout
This is one of my most favorite spring quotes. I fully agree with Ruth Stout and have done so. I am also attempting to practice her no till gardening method. Image below of the seeds (packets are on the stakes) I planted on Saturday before Sunday’s snow with the pussy willow, wheelbarrow, and barn in the pic.
Seeds I planted the day before the snow on March 24th
“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.” ~Proverb
“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.”  ~Doug Larson
Luca in the snow March 2013“Every spring is the only spring – a perpetual astonishment.”  ~Ellis Peters
“In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.”  ~Mark Twain (And so say all of us!)
“I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring.  Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth?”  ~Edward Giobbi
To this I add, I hope I will have help with my gardens. Image of our rescue farm dog, Luca, at the start of the snow. We have two rescue farm dogs.
“The front door to springtime is a photographer’s best friend.” ~Terri Guillemets
Amen to that!
pussywillow against the barn in March 25 snow
We rooted pussy willow shoots in the garden last spring and were amazed that they all took off, and now we have a dozen blooming willows to move and give away to good homes. Some we will plant by the farm pond, but they cannot remain where they are because pussy willows grow far too large, even when pruned to keep in a garden.
Oh look, it’s snowing again.
“Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
To-day the glint of green is there;
Tomorrow will be leaflets spare;
I know no thing so wondrous fair,
No miracle so strangely rare.
I wonder what will next be there!”
~L.H. Bailey
“First a howling blizzard woke us,
Then the rain came down to soak us,
And now before the eye can focus —
Crocus.”  ~Lilja Rogers
snpw crocus on march 25th

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