Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring is Springing in

Coltsfoot! Finally in bloom. Usually I can expect to find it blooming in early March and occasionally in February. This year it apparently was waiting on the vernal equinox. Such a simple little flower, but with such portent. says that an old name for the plant means "the son before the father" because the flower blooms and withers before the leaves appear. Botanical lists several medicinal uses for the plant. And in The History and Folklore of North American Wildflowers, author Timothy Coffey notes that the plant was used for coughs, and that according to Pliny, "the smoke of this plant is said to cure an inveterate cough, if inhaled deeply through a reed, but the patient must take a sip of raisin wine at each inhalation." (p. 281)

Ahem. Well, yes. Enough raisin wine would probably make you forget the cough.

Rhubarb is beginning to show its green in the place along the driveway where I should never have planted it--but where it thrives. Go figure.

And oh the daffodils! Just days after my sister Julie left, the yard is ablaze with yellow and cream flowers. While Julie was here, the gardens were, in my opinion, at their ugliest state.

You know--no green, all the dull mulch and dead leaves covering the ground, along with a few things the dogs dragged in. Then a gentle rain and a little sun, and voila!

Green and gold everywhere. Why couldn't it look like this while Julie was here?

Things are a little a-kimbo at the moment as we haven't really set to work straightening every up for the season. But the lush green is slowly returning.

Even at the edge of the woods, naturalized daffodils spread sunshine over the sprouting daylilies (which, by the way, are at the perfect size for salads--crunchy and sweet!).

It's time to get out the rake, buy some mulch and really get things cleaned up. Will I get it done this weekend? Nah. But I will be enjoying the green and gold. And eventually the mulch will be spread. The dogs' treasures will be picked up and tossed. Annuals will be planted. All the things that need to happen will happen.

For now it's enough to look and look and look at the flowers, and to know that Spring is on the way. That suffices for now.


Carol said...

I'm surprised at how much greener and how many more blooms you have. I would have thought our Zone 7B would be earlier to bloom that where you are. What zone are you in - 7A?

Thank you for the pictures. Makes me even more determined to work on the south gardens today. It should be 65 degrees.

Rowan said...

It's the same here, suddenly there are daffodils and forsythia everywhere when last week there was nothing. When I was a little girl you could get coltsfoot rock which is a sweet (candy) made from coltsfoot and used as a cough sweet as well as just eaten because children liked it. I think you can still buy it actually.

solsticedreamer~laoi gaul~williams said...

lovely! its the same here~in fact i have been blogging about the same thing!

Anonymous said...

Ahh...Happy Spring! I am working in my garden (for as long as I can),cleaning up and cleaning out! I can't wait for warmer weather! tm

Granny Sue said...

Carol, I can't remember what zone we are--6 comes to mind, but that might not be right. I think you had an extra blast of cold that missed us at the beginning of March. But last week nothing was green, just a few bulbs poking up. So I'm as surprised as you are. Today and tonight, of course, it is cold again. But there is hope!

Granny Sue said...

I want to find that candy, Rowan! It would be a good addition to the spring medicinals. I have never heard of it so you've piqued my interest.

Theresa, I can just see your gardens! Bet you've got more daffodils than I do. I planted a half bushel of mixed daffodil bulbs about 30 years ago, and they have multiplied and multiplied. They love it here. Tulips on the othe hand are never successful, and crocus has a struggle.

I'll be right over to check out your flowers, laoi. Isn't it lovely. And the equinox is here, too. We're planning a bonfire to burn an effigy of Old Man Winter.

Lucky13 said...

You aren't going to believe this, but as excited as I was for Daffs today...they never bloomed! I was astonished when I came home from work, I thought for sure they would bloom today. We have a cold wind even though the sun was warm, I don't think we made it out of the 40's. By the way, your garden was prettier then mine when I saw it, you were greening up nicely, and right now are greener then we are, with MANY more flowers. I'm beginning to think we're stuck. Half spring, half winter. Is there such a thing?

Granny Sue said...

Well, Julie, tonight it's supposed to be 25 and I don't think it got up to 50 today. One of the downsides of living here is the temperature fluctuations in Spring--we tend to have late frosts after warm weather, and you know what that does to fruit and flowers. So while I am happy that we've got blooms, I am apprehensive that we'll get bit by a freeze. Last year was the perfect Spring; can we have two in a row? I hope, but I doubt it.

Jaime said...

I'm enjoying this time as well. I love it when the earth starts to wake up. My daffodils have been blooming for about 3 weeks now. Hanging on through all the freezing nights the four days or so. And more of them are budding. I don't know what's up with the weird pattern of budding this year. But I absolutely can't wait for the tulips and hyacinth. I give them both a week to burst into color.

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