The weather has been bipolar: a month of snow and ice, followed by unseasonably warm weather, more snow and ice, and now more sunshine.
In late January, I took advantage of the dry sunny weather to spray dormant oil on all of my fruit trees and my single rose plant. I followed the instructions exactly and lavished the most attention (and lime-sulphur) on the old apple tree at the back of the garden. I spent a few warm afternoons removing broken branches and weeding, and admired all the snowdrops, tiny pink cyclamen, the first daphne buds, and budding rhododendrons. It was even warm enough to sit outside with a glass of wine (see above).
The day after the groundhog predicted an early spring, it snowed: hard and heavy. The cypress and hemlocks seem most susceptible to snow loading, and I used my sons bo-staff (think: Obi Wan Kenobi) to knock the heavy snow off the branches. There was so much snow that my kids built an igloo at the back of the garden equipped with speakers and wifi (see below).
Today, it was brilliantly sunny again, but not warm. I cleaned out all the bird houses and put them up facing “east-ish” using zap-straps. I intend to take them down each fall, so the zap straps make the bird houses easy to remove and don’t damage the trees. I was so happy to see that a chickadee checked out two of the houses immediately after the houses went up.
I’m hoping that it is finally Spring for real now.