First day of spring

It is March 20 and the calendar tells us that it is Spring now. However, the garden is still covered with an almost solid blanket of snow. With temperatures below freezing every night and just barely above during the day, the snow is melting slowly.

The garden two days ago; it looked similar today

Many of those plants that were so eager to open their dormant buds in February suffered a big setback during this period of unseasonably cold weather. The young leaves on our roses and the buds on the quince froze or dried up. I am afraid that there will be almost no crab apple blossoms this year, and the hydrangeas have to start over again, too. I am hopeful for the tree peonies. Last week, when it was even colder than this morning, their big flower buds were hanging down, limp and sad. Today, they were at least looking up again.

Snow all over the garden. The hardy azalea and the daffodils seem to be OK, but the crab apple blossoms are all shriveled and dried up. Where the snow is melting, birds look for food and we see their footprints.

One good thing is: the snow brought some much needed moisture. Gardeners have to be optimists. We are curious to find out what is hidden under this white blanket.