April 4

Spring snow

It is almost a year since I last posted. We have moved into Church House, mostly unpacked, and settled into our new nest. Today, the 4th of April, it is snowing. Nature playing its tricks.


Our beautiful shads are about to bloom and temperatures tonight and tomorrow will be in the teens. I am prepared for the fact that we might lose their bloom this year, and that the crabs and apples will get nipped.


The daffodils are bowed down with the weight of the snow, their stems frozen, and I can only hope that these tough blooms will survive this Arctic plunge.

frozen daffs

They are one of my favorite flowers. We have been enjoying them in pots the last few months, forced into flower after several months buried in a coldframe that we bought last fall. This one is ‘Minnow,’ a small, late growing variety that forces well.

daffs forced 2016



My head is spinning with heady visions of shrubs and trees, perennials and annuals to plant this spring. I have ordered a number of species roses–I cannot live without some roses–to clothe the fence around the little cutting garden we have dug behind the house.


I have put stakes in the ground on a slope near the house, thirty feet apart, in rows, for a small apple orchard, another feature in the garden I am unwilling to live without. We have two wonderful old apples here already, and an orchard seems appropriate to the place.

IMG_2357 (1)

I will try to be better about posting and write about the plantings as they happen. The adventure begins.


We are having such fun watching Spring progress around our new house, not knowing, in the case of crabapples, lilacs, and peonies, what colors they would be, delighting in the smattering of varieties, grateful to be inheriting some loveliness.


Two standard shads (Amelanchier species) by the front door of the house were the first to open, along with a grove of multi-stemmed ones along the beginning of our drive. I find it thrilling to have these lovely trees up close where I can see at eye level their slender pinkish buds open to fragile white flowers and now begin to form fruit that the birds love.


We have two apple trees with great age and soul, their heavy branches wavily reaching outward from solid trunks. When they were in bloom, a pair of Baltimore Orioles, black-headed with blazing orange coats, chirpped from their branches as I weeded in a bed near by.


Crabapples too, pink budded, opening to white, an old one by the house and five planted at a distance in front of some tall spruces. And down in the boggy woods, I spied an old crab, brilliant red in bud, fading to pink in flower. I cut branches of it to bring indoors and mix with lilacs.