So, is everyone in hibernation? Holidays?

Campanula UK Z8February 21, 2014

There are a number of regular posters who appear to have 'gone away'. Rouge21, Cool Plants Guy, Floral (I know you are about, Flora....just not here).....and I find I am missing the snippy, but entertaining posts from Wieslaw....and where has Great Plains gone (flouncing?)
I often count on this forum for my garden obsession dose of rambling, waffling, nit-picking.....but am beginning to die from boredom. Even fleetingly considered posting some inflammatory trolling to foment some........heat. For me, this is usually a feverish time as I attempt to restrain myself from indulging in the many, many possibilities I have spent the winter reading about. At no other time does my finger hover so unpredictably over the 'add to cart' symbols.....and there is also a terrible last minute seed ordering before 'real' work of digging, weeding, pruning....is upon us. I need help, advice, suggestions, enthusiasm.....but mostly, I need to be able to drone on at length to kindred spirits while involving myself in the minutiae of everyone else's gardens as well as my own.

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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Not a regular here, Campanula, but I have kind of "gone away" .... reading and posting mainly on the New England Forum where we have been moanin' and groanin' about this terrible winter and all of our snow. One of my favorite threads there (from Feb. 5) kind of tells it all: "How much snow did you get? What are you cooking?" Because of this winter, it's a pretty long thread that has allowed us to commiserate on the weather as well as to share great cold-weather menus and wine/beverage choices.

I know some folks in the UK have experienced horrible weather. That can be a turn off to thinking Spring. So bless you for starting this.

But as far as talking about my garden... that's a sad subject as all of it has been covered with snow for a long time now. My hellebores, which usually start to show life in February and often buds, are smothered under the white stuff. I do long to see green tress... even dead grass and dirt!

For me, this terrible cold has kept my fingers off the "Add to Cart" button. I'm expecting that some things in my yard will have been destroyed over this winter. Curious, though. What are you looking to add to your gardens?

Molie

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:49PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Late January and most of February are times when you grit your teeth and try to get through without dying of boredom! :-) This winter has been worse than usual wrt to nasty cold - and in mid-Feb., more snow than usual here. Normally, once March rolls around, things start happening relatively quickly - but who knows what this odd year will bring?! It's hard to get motivated when there doesn't seem to be any end to winter in sight! We've hat a few mild days this week - and even rain and a thunderstorm last night - but next week is supposed to be back to unusually cold again -*sigh*. I did summon up the energy to order pea and bean seeds this week in hopes that conditions will be suitable again by late March to plant the peas. I've checked a few on-line catalogs but plan to do most of my shopping at local nurseries so I haven't had the entertainment value of plant shopping yet!

I'm not sure whether GP1 intends to continue participating here or not, but she has been helpful to me in offering suggestions for how to enhance the hanging of a too-small-to-be-ideal-but I-like-it painting we bought last fall. That lady is a very talented artist as well as gardener....

I have been hoping to see some interesting posts appear too - I suspect most of us are still deeply in winter doldrums though... The buds on trees around here started noticeably swelling last week (which must have more to do with day-length than spring-like temperatures!) I can't get anywhere near the things I'm most concerned with re winter survival to check the state of their buds - plus it's way too early yet to assume live buds are going to make it to May!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 3:28PM
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Campanula UK Z8

Big rampant clematis, Molie....flammula, jouiniana, versicolour, potaninii, fargesiodes, rehederiana.....those species monsters to froth about the woods. I have had 3 of them in my tiny garden (obviously long gone....or the house would have vanished beneath them) and am now looking to reprise the joy of massive unruly wild things....as long as they are not brambles. Of course, if they can be raised by seed, so much the better.
Naturally, their rosy counterparts (Kiftsgate, Seagull, Rambling Rector et al) also figure prominently in my (ahem) plans.
And hey, I added polar vortex to my vocabulary this year......I would possibly die if I had to endure the cold freeziness common the in the US....although endless rain is not a walk in the park either, but I am fortunate enough to be on the opposite side of floodlands UK. The fens were/are the original waterworld of the UK. The Norfolk broads, where my wood is, is still a network of wetlands, rivers, marsh..... but 300 years of heavily engineered drainage and the deepest spongiest peaty soil in the country, has left us with something of an infrastructure to manage floods and deluges. We are surrounded by the obligatory ditches and dykes which criss cross Norfolk, underground pipes, culverts and land-drains flow through acres of reed beds - our 5acre wood is surrounded on all sides by ditches with remarkably clear and clean water....and it is along these dykes where I intend to let the clems and ramblers roam free.
Here is a profile of Yair Wood from the river.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 3:28PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Never mind, need to rein in my cranky self today...

This post was edited by mxk3 on Fri, Feb 21, 14 at 20:48

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:35PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Beautiful piece of land, Campanula :0)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:37PM
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gardenweed_z6a

I hear what you're saying campanula and must agree I miss the camaraderie I'd grown accustomed to here over the past few years. This forum along with a few others had become my entertainment until recently. It's only a guess but chances are the slower traffic on the forum may be due to folks switching to Facebook and LinkdIn.

Like mjc_molie, I monitor the New England forum as well as the Cottage Garden forum and there's very little traffic on those or the Winter Sowing forum which a few years ago was one of the busiest on GW.

I think I might be slowly emerging from this winter's hibernation--actually ventured forth today and went to the market for food. Shopped for garden paraphernalia since I was out and about but didn't give in to the urge. With my garden beds nearly filled, I don't have a need for much of anything.

It has been a very snowy winter--my garden beds are buried deep under several feet of snow, eliminating any hope of seeing my hellebores in bloom for many weeks to come I'm afraid. I did winter sow some Leucanthemum x superbum/Shasta daisy 'Crazy Daisy' seeds a little over a week ago and set the milk jug out on my breezeway. I've got Pentstemon/Beardtongue 'Mystica,' Siberian iris, Stokes aster & a few other seed types ready to winter sow--a few things didn't survive in my garden beds the past couple of years so I have some empty spaces to fill in.

Mostly I read or watch films. Occasionally I get an urge to do housework but generally am successful at resisting that for as long as possible. A rare urge to clean the garage back in January was quickly repressed once several feet of snow fell and the temperature plummeted into the Arctic zone.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:55PM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

I am out gardening and hiking rather than posting here. I have found on many gardening forums, around this time of year, that many who 'could not live where there are not four seasons' consider posts from us 'it is 75 degrees F and see what is blooming in my garden' folks to be cruel if we share much during this time of year. Freesias, orchids, poppies, pink trumpet trees, aloes... Heck, photos might do some of the members in.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 12:35AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

I've been here Campanula - just don't have much to say about perennials at present. I've just come in from moving a Hellebore and tidying up some Clematis. Bargain buy this week was a 2 litre potted Clematis alpina 'Constance' covered in buds for 3 quid on the reject shelf in the corner of the local garden centre. I peeled of the sale sticker and it had been ã20.

A weird combo in my tiny garden at the moment is simultaneously flowering pots of fuchsias and daffodils, as well as variegated pelargoniums, because it has been so mild.

Nice to see your woods at last.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:48AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

All the forums on gardenweb are experiencing this. I think many users are going to other sites, simply groups on Facebook.

I likely won't be planting until mid-April this year with another deep freeze coming this week. The frost extends very deep in the ground as well. We have to run our water 24/7 to keep the underground pipes from freezing....thats just silly for this time of year when the temps average 34 degrees. This is easily the worst winter that many have experienced since gardening. 36 days of sub zero temps and counting....several more on the way.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:38AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

campanula - that looks like a fun piece of property to play with! I'm looking forward to lots more pictures as you develop it....

whaas - the frost appears to have gone very deep here too. We haven't been running water to keep pipes from freezing but if we do run the cold water for a bit the water sure feels like ice-water! Because of that I have been surprised that there hasn't been reports of frozen water mains. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of posts and garden structures are off-kilter from frost heave once everything finally thaws out. Our last frost date is usually the end of April, with usually one scare in the first week of May. Goodness knows what the spring frost situation will be this year! It's going to be an interesting spring, that's for sure :-)

All this discussion made me go back through my spring pictures to see what things would normally be doing when in spring. Interestingly, I had to go back to 2010 to find a picture taken before May in the backyard! I do have a couple of pictures of snowdrops and hellebores in March but overall pictures don't usually start being taken until early May. Quite a contrast to the UK (and the warm parts of the US)!

Here is a sequence of pictures of one part of the garden at various times of year:

NW section of the backyard April 24 2010 (we painted the shed green in June that year):

Same area May 28 2013:

June 25 2013:

Aug. 5 2013:

October 26 2013:

Dec 25 2013:

This morning:

Can we just fast-forward to late April now?!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 11:58AM
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Campanula UK Z8

mmmm, I recall seeing another wintery garden here (Christin, Karin?) which was totally grim - fabulous to flash forward to look at the summer photos when all looks sodden or even invisible. I finally got a digital camera which even a half-blind idiot such as moi can use....and how joyous this has been. No matter how much I tell myself things are changing, there is nothing more useful than seeing the evidence before your eyes (of your garden in better days).
As for Facebook......my daughter persuaded me to set up an account which I dutifully did and then forgot about.....until I met a smirking aquaintance in the street who snickered and said something like 'never knew you had it in you' before rushing off, laughing. It was still a week or so later when the awful truth came out - frustrated at my lack of interest, my daughter had initially posted a few innocuous messages....which eventually ramped up to full-scale impersonation including a terrible photo, brandishing an onion hoe and scowling....while lovingly detailing my nude skiing and cat wrestling adventures.

I am not often moved to violence (although when I have been, it is invariably provoked by daughter).....but account vanished in the cybersphere and I had a week long sulk....but not before posting a few baby and tantrum photos on my daughters 'wall'.

I changed my password despite using the same one for over a decade - the need for security finally brought home.

Been having my own clematis moment, Flora, with seeds ordered for c.pitcheri, fargesiodes, potanninii............

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 1:43PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Campanula, you have a treasure there with your new land. Are you planning to settle there for the rest of your life?

I've only been on GW off and on the past 6 months. And it's not because I'm on Facebook, because I think there are a lot of privacy and other issues with Facebook.

It's more because last year was a busy and stressful year, and demoralizing because I lost my beloved father in August. I am still licking my wounds. Also we've had a crazy winter lately and have almost 2 feet of snow on the ground. Some melting is goig on currently, but the roads, driveway, ice dams in the house, etc are a mess.

I haven't done any winter-sowing yet. No seed purchases online (usual winter past times). But I've been thinking about butterflies and spring ephemerals lately and that's got me excited for Spring.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 2:01PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

It was sunny and 55 degrees yesterday. I sowed a bunch of perennial seed in containers in the cold frame. The indoor light garden is being readied for the spring push.

(Meteorological) winter has only a week left to go.

The euphorbias are in full flower and my gloxinia seedlings are in bud.

Things are moving, gentlemen of the jury.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:59AM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

Love the lush pics and hearing about signs of spring.

Delighted to see some signs of life in my little yard after an unusually severe winter. For example, my 2 bushes of new Salvia guaranitica âÂÂAmistadâ look pretty dead but a new one made from a broken branch last fall overwintered in a pot and it's alive! âÂÂFriendshipâ survived! Every night when it was 28F or below I moved it to a protected area near my front door and covered the pot with Dupont Frost Blanket. Of course I am overjoyed that it worked. In general I am saying to my deceased plants, âÂÂI loved you dearly and will remember you fondly forever.â But it is time to move on. I need to be patient with the walking wounded but whatever survives is good and tough and is âÂÂmy kind of plant.â I hope to propagate the survivors to fill in the holes.

Salvia âÂÂAmistadâ on 9/2/13, now 1 of the dead-looking ones in the ground:

A young âÂÂAmistadâ pictured on 2/23/14, survived the winter:

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 1:50AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

We've had a weird winter. Very mild and very wet. The result is surprising combinations like this one. Fuchsias and Pelargoniums which never stopped and daffodils which are just starting. Forgive the poor picture - my trusty old camera is on its last legs. Been rained on and dried with a hair dryer once too often.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 8:09AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I'd echo this winter has been brutal and depressing...perhaps a reason that some folks have stayed away.

Spring is SOOOOOO, did I say SOOOOOO far away. Here are the lows forecasted in F. All 20 to 30 degrees below average. If they hold, the winter period from Dec to Feb will have the 2nd most days below zero since recording keeping started in the late 1800s. It is currently the 11th coldest winter on record.

-9
-3
-11
-3
-1
0-3
-2

This post was edited by whaas on Tue, Feb 25, 14 at 11:49

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 12:16PM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

It sure has been a tough winter for so many of us ... arctic cold, or deep cold .... droughts ... or terrible rains & winds. That's why I really appreciate the photos some of you have posted. Gyr_Falcon .... why not some photos of what's happening in your garden? Looking at your blooms while there's snow on the ground here (still) would be a treat!

Campanula, that's a glorious shot of Yair Wood. Here along the Connecticut coast, we've just had a few days of glorious skies as in your photo. And ... HA! Your Facebook "experience" made me laugh. You weren't the only one who mentioned Facebook. So....curious, I checked out some of FB gardening sites. But they include so many ads/links and aren't much related to the kinds of gardening information I'm looking for.

Woodyoak, I really like the newer green color of your shed... the color makes it recede into the trees behind it. Kind of reminds me of a fairy tale cottage hidden in the woods.

The daffodils in the pot are so cherry, floral_uk. And those Pelargonium leaves are striking against a background of fence, building & garden. We enjoyed a very mild winter two years ago... temps of 61 F in January. But I guess Mother Nature is angry at us this year.

Whaas, for me it's not just the low temps that have been so depressing but the fact that snow seems to have been with us forever. We had temps in the 50s ... like Erich_oh had over the weekend ... but the weather people are all predicting lower readings for the next two weeks. So I guess March will "come in like a lion."

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 4:34PM
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karin_mt(4 MT)

I like this thread. Just an opportunity to say hello even if there is nothing to report in the garden dept. And those photos from abroad are wonderful to behold! Daffodils and fushias, holy cow!

I love winter. It might be my favorite of all 4 seasons and I get pretty sad by mid-March when it becomes apparent that winter won't go on indefinitely (although, phew, winter is long here and it really does feel that way sometimes.)

Our garden goes radio silent for 4-5 months of solid snow cover. It's great; it covers up all the waiting work, I forget about it completely and I go off skiing in an unconflicted state of mind. Sometimes the greenhouse door even freezes shut and I feel like that is just another sign to leave it alone for a spell.

Like everyone else, we've had astounding cold spells. It's boring weather because we all just hunker down and post Facebook photos of our thermometers, but it feels 'proper' to have cold temps anymore. Even as cold as it's been, we didn't break a single record, far from it.

But I have to confess, we live in a winter sports mecca. The town goes into a collective state of depression if we go 5 days without fresh snow. People are recklessly euphoric when we get good snowstorms, and when we get a few nice storms in a row, everyone gets a relaxed, happy glow. That's where we're at now. Winter is humming along and we're all humming along with it. Lucky us.

But a funny thing happens while skiing in March. I'll be heading across a traverse to a demanding ski run. As I'm getting my head in the game, some stray thought of grape hyacinths will sneak into my mind. For a moment, I'll let that thought in. Daylilies, aren't they nice? Gardening seems so easy and appealing right about now. But no; it's back to the task at hand. Back to the snow, ice and rock. There's plenty of time for gardens later. For now, the view between my ski tips demands my full attention!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 8:29PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

I for one always appreciate seeing what's in bloom for those of you with milder weather. It reaffirms my faith that spring will eventually reach my little corner of the world as well.This winter has been brutally cold with several 50 mph wind events rearranging the snow in my yard. I have areas where I am snowshoeing on top of 8-10 ft. dogwoods and plum thickets. In many areas they are completely covered, in others there may be anywhere from a couple inches sticking up through the snow to a foot. The drifts are bigger than a couple years ago when we received 100 inches of snow.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 12:07AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I feel for the folks in MN and plains. Even worse there.

I have the same thing going on with mulch showing in some areas...so snow cover to areas that are a few feet. Nothing like 8-10' though. I wish, I love the snow just hate the sub zero temps.

Like seeing the pics for those in warmer climates as well. It comes with the territory as to where you live!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 11:52AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Yep, those bleak garden pics were mine ;-) Not sure the snow we got dumped with yesterday makes me feel much better though, lol.

I don't think the call of the Facebook has lured many members away. It always seems we have less traffic in the winter. Usually it is around the holidays, though this year it seems to be now.

Not much happening here except boredom. Work sent me to a neat horticulture expo in Idaho last month with the office manager. Now I await the season of chaos at the nursery to start.

I've been starting a few seeds lately. Hot peppers, Ruta graveolens 'Vareigata', Erigeron karvinskianus, and Asclepias incarnata. More soon to follow if I have enough gumption. Before the snow deluge I found my Iris 'Katherine Hodgkin' poppin' up in the front. Thankfully the mailman and neighbors didn't observe me whispering words of encouragement to the little bulbs, lol.
CMK

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 1:47PM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

I have just come in after planting a new lemon tree and collapsed in front of the computer to find all these great photos. I love seeing all the photos of everybody's garden and wood. (great looking wood, Campanula)
It has been a strange winter here too. I have only been here a few years, but it is the warmest winter so far.
I have a few photos of my garden that I have taken within the last few weeks. I was feeling too guilty to post them as it is a world away from everybody's ice and snow, but a few people have said that they like seeing them, so here goes.

My black plum in blossom.

I have already posted the photo below, on the Rose Forum. It was a few days ago, when I had to go to the dentist. I am posting here as well, just for Campanula.
Sorry Camps, I couldn't resist!

Daisy

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 9:39AM
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roxanna(z5b MA)

Wintry greetings to all from snow-covered Massachusetts (with yet another "big" storm coming on Monday). I rarely post but am a faithful reader all year. Right now, I am definitely in hibernation mode! It's below zero tonight, a very good reason to snuggle indoors with the cat a some good books.

As for gardening, it is just a dream at the moment. I've been drooling over seed catalogs and making lists to order hostas & daylilies & other lovely things, trying to keep expenditures in a reasonable range (not happening!). Today, I warned DH about my plant wishlists -- he just sighed. Onward, sez I !!!

Daisy -- what is the lovely purple plant in your second-to-last photo? I love it.

Roxanna

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:42PM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

Roxanna. Sorry to hear that you are expecting another big storm. Spending the time snuggled indoors with a good book and the cat, is a good idea.
Although, I would not swop the climate here with you, it does mean there is no rest period in the garden. There is something needs doing, year round.
The violet, purple climber is Hardenbergia violacea. It is a lovely, non rampant climber. It starts flowering in late winter and continues all through spring and early summer.
In your part of the world, it would need a frost free greenhouse or conservatory.
Daisy

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 7:42AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Daisy, what is the name of the rose? I enjoyed your wonderfully cheerful photos ... here in CT, we're also expecting another storm over this weekend. Sad but true.

Molie

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 3:18PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Daisy - Thanks for the blooms! It's lovely to know that things are blooming somewhere, even if not here.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 3:25PM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

Molie, The rose is David Austin's Lady Emma Hamilton.
It blooms year round here. It also smells gorgeous.
Here it is again in summer.

Thank-you nhbabs.
Daisy

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 10:36AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-Daisy, stunning! What wonderful, cheering pictures. Oooo....nice rose. I'm such a sucker for peach/apricot roses, particularly if they are DA roses ;-)
CMK

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 1:43PM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Daisy, your "Lady" .... shown behind Verbena bonariensis.... is so lush. I'll definitely check out this David Austin.

And then that yellow (climber?) behind it... yikes! ..... so beautiful! Thank you for all those lovely photos.

Molie

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 10:09AM
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sara82lee(8a - SE Va)

I wanted to thank everyone for their picture sharing. Cheered me up but made me even more itchy for spring at the same time. My daffs and tulips are peeping though.

I'm in zone 8, and it was 74 yesterday :) Today and tomorrow there's no school and 5 inches of snow on the ground. It's unbelievable, this winter.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 11:57PM
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karin_mt(4 MT)

Wow Sara, really? We had a crazy weather swing too, but from 74 degrees one day to 5 inches of snow the next trumps us. We went from -22 to 34 in a day.

Goodness, those photos! Might as well be from the Moon, that feels so distant. But thanks for the tease!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 8:59PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Nice pictures, I almost forgot what spring looks like! Flora- I can't believe your fuchsia overwintered as well as the geranium, and campanula nice to see a view of the woods!
I can't wait for this snow to melt, going for three months without seeing the dead lawn for more than a couple days is making me almost wish for sweaty lawnnmowing weather.... soon enough, right?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:53PM
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david883(5/6)

I haven't stopped by here in a while. I just can't put to words my impatience (did someone say impatiens?) waiting on spring to come. I feel this urge to post things here - I miss it - but I have nothing to say... at least I don't think I do. The only thing I know I have to say is complaints towards this never ending winter we're having, the subzero temps, my concern for what plants may be dying out there (hard to voice that concern when people have water manes breaking but...). They just said on the news we're warming up for the weekend: above freezing!

Do I sound like I'm complaining? This is why I haven't posted anything. I'm such a Debbie Downer right now. I just want to go outside and grow grow grow. But for now I'll oogle at everyone's pictures :)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 6:02AM
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SunnyBorders(5A)

Recently in St Pete Beach, Florida (below).

Usually see the first snowdrops by St Patrick's Day up here, but seems quite unlikely this year.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 4:37PM
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