Thursday, 5 March 2015

March: "In Like A Lion, Out Like A Lamb"

 

hellebore - tutu

March has been living up to its name so far – bitter winds that cut right through you – the bright sunshine fooling you into thinking it is warm, come outside it says – believe me, it is not warm.  The spring garden is struggling to show itself – bulbs that emerged a few weeks ago are in a kind of stasis, neither growing or dying.  Just being.  Is it always like this – do I look every year the same way and find nothing is growing – nothing is willing to bloom until it can be sure that there will be more warm weather. March is such a tease.  I am thankful for the Crocus that bloom regardless, thank you for brightening up the containers.   

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As I walk I search the hedgerows for signs of life – I find  clusters of stray snowdrops and crocus, a few catkins and pussy willow – but no real signs that spring is on its way – am I always this anxious that spring won’t return when it should.

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“March came in that winter like the meekest and mildest of lambs, bringing days that were crisp and golden and tingling, each followed by a frosty pink twilight which gradually lost itself in an elfland of moonshine.”
L.M. Montgomery

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Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!  - Sitting Bull

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Spring won't let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.  - Gustav Mahler

pussy willow

The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also. – Harriet Ann Jacobs

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The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. – Henry van Dyke

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A hush is over everything, Silent as women wait for love; The world is waiting for the spring.  - Sarah Teasdale

As so I fear the wait must continue – my wishing for spring won’t make it come any sooner – now that winter draws to a close I feel the need for the warmth of the sun on my skin once more.  To be able to wander outside and see a colourful garden – to potter in the greenhouse sowing seed of this year’s flowers and vegetables – this is what I want now.  But still the March winds rage on – this transitional time is the hardest to bear – the sun shines with a promise that teases and fools us into thinking we can work out of doors – but no, icy winds tell us that we are not quite there yet.

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” —Charles Dickens

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69 comments:

  1. Hello Elaine,

    Perhaps it is always the most tense of times in this transitional period between Winter and Spring. Nature does tend to play tricks with us, coaxing us out with the first warm rays of sun only to dash our hopes with cold winds and rain. And, it is sad to see the first bulbs and buds appearing only to be nipped in their growth spurt by icy blasts. But, you do present us with a colourful array today........hope springs eternal!

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    1. Dear Jane and Lance
      You have described this period perfectly - the season cannot make its mind up what is wants to do next - we will just to wait until it gives us the thumbs up.

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  2. Exact same weather over here - oh, that icy wind! But the sight of crocuses always make my heart flutter xxx

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    1. Yes, thank goodness for crocus and snowdrops - but it is the daffodils that say the beginning of Spring to me.

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  3. Oh I want to reach into the screen and stroke those pussy willows Elaine. Here it is grey and cool this morning but the forecast is promising for the weekend. I think that most of us in the UK will see a hint of spring. I'm even planning a trip to the allotment so it must be getting warmer :)

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    1. There is so much waiting for me to do in the garden but I don't enjoy working in the cold so everything is on hold. Fingers crossed it will pick up a little at the weekend.

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  4. the weather does seem to belie the fact that spring is here, but the forecast is set fair for the coming weekend, so maybe some more signs of spring to enjoy ... love that pussy willow - I can never find any growing in these parts ...

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    1. The pussy willow is growing in my garden - there is plenty in the countryside around here if you know where to look.

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  5. A most lovely post Elaine.
    You have brought some of the outside inside. A joy to the eye.
    such beautiful bulbs, and so much color.
    Our weather is getting better. The sun is shining today,but there is a cold wind blowing.
    I worked in my garden all day yesterday, just cutting back and clearing. I am getting excited, and like you cant wait to get started with some new plants.
    val xx

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    1. Thank you Val. My indoor bulbs have been a joy this winter I am so glad I remembered to plant them all in the autumn - they certainly cheer the place up that's for sure. I did a bit of clearing out in the greenhouse but that's all so far - hopefully it will soon get a little warmer so I can get on with all the gardening jobs that need doing.

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  6. Beautiful images and words, the day yesterday with bedding on the line blowing in the wind, and felling the warmth of the sun was wonderful, fingers crossed I felt excited with the feel of the day. But to day the sun has stayed hidden behind the clouds not willing to show it's face. Spring flowers here are still waiting in the ground, perhaps they know what's to come, and the promise of nice weather from the weather man was only for a few days and March has a few surprises up it's sleeve.
    Amanda xx

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    1. I hope the weather man was right that the temperatures will rise and the wind dies down soon - it has been ferocious.

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  7. Isn't it funny how we all look differently at things? I was saying to my husband this morning how lucky we had been with the weather and how we have had blue skies for quite a few days now. We have never done so much gardening this early in the year as we have this year !! Mind you, it is quite cold !! I think that we have had it a lot milder here in Hertfordshire. … and, we say the same things every year …. " that blossom is early " we always say and it flowers at this time of year, every year !!
    I love the tecnique that you've used on your photographs. Have you photoshopped them or is it all in the taking of the shot ? Such beautiful images of Spring and, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the warmer weather arrives. XXXX

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    1. I like to check back on my photographs for the same time in preceding years to see just how things change from year to year. This time last year the garden was full of primulas - they all seem to have vanished this year. No, the photos haven't been photoshopped but I have been experimenting with using white paper behind the plants to reflect the light - it doesn't always work but these have turned out reasonably well.

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  8. Spring tempted me out to the greenhouse today for a much needed tidy up. I was rewarded by the sight of some naturalised crocuses.

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    1. I do love to see naturalised spring bulbs but never seem to get round to doing it for myself - I hate bulb planting if the truth be known.

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  9. Oh how I hate the wind. So far our winds have been slilent, but they can rage here. March came in rather like a lion with a bit of snow. Now we have promises of warming for the week end.We still have abit of snow; hopefully it will melt away today. I do love your description of spring and your photos are picture perfect. Soon. Soon Spring will be here. About March 15th?

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    1. Spring can't come soon enough for me - although the days have been bright and sunny just recently - but the wind prohibits me from staying out too long - it seems to creep into every nook and cranny.

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  10. You have captured the "spirit" of this inter-season period so well, Elaine. I particularly like the Dickens quotation. As my Dad used to say of this time of year "All the heat is in the sun". Where else he thought it could come from, I know not!

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    1. Thank you Mark - maybe your Dad meant that the sun is keeping the heat for itself!

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  11. A most enjoyable post and lovely pictures. The wind has eased off here through the week so it's starting to feel just a bit warmer at long last. Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty - the wind eased a little today as well - it would be nice for the temps. to rise a little wouldn't it - it would make us all feel a little better.

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  12. I can take the ice and snow, rain and mud that has run into my greenhouse, the propane tank that has run out during the cold, just let me have sunshine. It makes me able to tolerate this abysmal winter. The wild jonquils have been blooming for nearly a month. Don't know why so early.

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    1. A bit of sun certainly does make a difference even it it remains cold - it's the heavy grey skies I don't like.

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  13. the simple template suits your wistful lovely work brilliantly Elaine always a pleasant visit for me

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    1. Thank you David - very kind of you to say so.

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  14. Is the first picture one of yours? Looking forward to the lamb arriving. I think that we have had enough of the lion.

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    1. Yes it is Sue - do you like it? Yes the lion has outstayed its welcome.

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  15. Hang in there! It's getting warmer. It better be because I evicted some of the bigger potted plants from the greenhouse today, running out of space.

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    1. I know I know - it is just so frustrating when I want to be getting on with stuff.

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  16. It is a tease!!! Wind and hail and cold winter sunshine. I hear it is due to warm up this weekend so hopefully you can sow a few seeds. You have so many lovlies blooming here, it's such a good idea to bring them on early indoors, but I forgot this year so just enjoy yours instead. Your daffs header is lovely, mine are out now too....I really hope that winter is now on the run, I'm sick of being freezing! Love your images once again, especially the ones on the white backgrounds.xxx

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    1. Thanks Dina. I do hope it does warm up a bit - we are getting through logs at a rate of knotts. I think I'll try and sow some sweet peas this weekend.

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  17. I'm loving your experiments with the white paper - beautiful beautiful results Elaine.

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    1. Thanks Freda - glad you like them.

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  18. I go around quoting these lines from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "Work Without Hope": "and winter slumbering in the open air, wears on his smiling face a dream of spring." My winter is dreaming of your narcissus.

    Reading your lovely comments, I find myself thinking enviously: "does everyone in England have a greenhouse?"

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    1. I like that quote - my smiling face is dreaming of spring also. Haha - no, I would say not everyone does - but to those of us who do have one are extremely grateful that we can potter in there to keep out of the worst of the weather and start our spring sowing early.

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  19. I am so very ready for spring to spring, and seeing your wonderful flowers is a great sign of spring coming along!! xx

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    1. The bulbs in the house have helped me over the worst of the winter by cheering me up - I just hope this weekend proves to be a little better weatherwise.

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  20. Elaine - Your photos are so lovely, they have lifted my spirits sky high. Just hang in there we are promised warm mild weather this weekend - can you believe!!!

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    1. Thank you Rosemary - as for the weather - I'll believe it when I see it!

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  21. It'll come soon! I love your pot with the crocuses in, very cheery :-)

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    1. Thanks Su - the crocus haven't been open very much - like me, they need a bit more sun.

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  22. I like seeing your emerging spring. It continues to snow here in CO.

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    1. Don't worry Barb - your turn will come - eventually!

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  23. I can feel your anticipation as you eagerly wait for spring to truly 'spring'....the weather can be temperamental during these transitional periods. Love the quotes you have chosen, especially Henry Van Dyke and Dickens. Your cheery photos are appreciated :)

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    1. When it gets to this time of year I do get a little impatient and yes, sometimes the weather takes it time to make its mind up - but we will get there in the end.

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  24. Oh I hear you about the winds! It is below zero here tonight though we may be warming up this weekend...fingers crossed. Your beautiful containers gave me hope and have lifted my spirits tonight Elaine! Your photographs are stunning!!! Wishing you a wonderful weekend! Nicole xoxo

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    1. The winds have eased off today and the sun is out - it can only get better. Maybe we will all be able to get out this weekend and enjoy it. Hope yours is a good one.

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  25. I'm enchanted by those elegant lines of your hellebore! Love the white backgrounds that you've chosen. They look like botanical samples. The sun may tease, but it will come :-)

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    1. That's just what I thought when I saw the photograph I had taken - the white background really makes the flowers stand out doesn't it.

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  26. Dear Elaine, thank you for all those exquisite photos that make us believe that spring is already here!
    Patience, patience - nature is a great teacher for that.
    I love your quotes too - may I add an African proverb? "The grass blade does not grow quicker when you pull at it." Know that one - in correct German words :-) - by heart...

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    1. Dear Britta
      I had not heard that proverb before and yes, it is so true. Thank you.

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  27. It does seem a little warmer today - we got the mower out to check it over as the one thing that does seem to be growing is the grass - the rest of the garden is various shades of brown and grey - like you I long for that spring colour and a little less bitter wind:)

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    1. I spent some time in the garden yesterday - there is so much that still needs doing and yes mine too is shades of brown and grey - with the earth all flattened where the snow pressed it down - I feel a little fluffing up coming on.

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  28. It's beautiful where you live, and at least you have some color. The crocus are still dormant and sleeping soundly here...but it's supposed to warm up to a unbelievable 12C above.. Then the snow will silently slip away, and our world will start to look like yours.

    Love the gorgeous shots...they are so inspiring.

    Jen

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    1. Thank you Jen. The colour is all in baskets and containers at the moment - thank goodness I had the foresight to plant them up in autumn.

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  29. I love the van Dyke quote!

    Here it is almost as though spring is waiting for permission, so many green growing things sticking up their heads as if waiting to get the nod from someone before bursting forth.

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    1. Yes, he is quite right too - looking at pictures from last year there seems to be far more colour than there is last year - I think the cold temperatures have held everything back.

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  30. Ah Elaine - your March sounds like it is teasing you. I hope mine does some of that soon. We still have lots of snow but they are saying 50's here next week - hopefully I will spot a few snowdrops then! Your photos of your spring blossoms are beautiful friend and they make me wistful for all that is just around the corner. Take care and perhaps March will start to show itself as a lamb!

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    1. Hi Debbie
      I actually managed to do some work in the garden yesterday as it felt a little warmer in the sheltered spots. Getting it all back into shape will take some time but if I work at it little by little I shall enjoy it. Just to be able to spend time out of doors is something I have been looking forward to. I hope your snow melts away soon.

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  31. That moment between winter and spring is an impatient one isn't it? We gardeners are itching to get outdoors but we're stuck inside on hold. I'm impatient for spring already and we're still 6 feet deep in snow. It will be a long wait this year.

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    1. I do sympathise with your desire to be snow free - here it is warm one day and cold the next but spring is definitely on the way now - hurrah.

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  32. Well March has been a mix - we have had some lovely sunshine and it's been good to get out and about with some blue skies and sunshine.

    Your pictures look so cheery and colourful, I've enjoyed them .... thank you.

    All the best Jan

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    1. It's slowly getting warmer thank goodness. Glad you liked the pics.

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  33. These are amazingly beautiful pictures :) spring is in the air.

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    1. Thanks Keith - yes it definitely is.

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  34. Elaine, Those are wonderful pictures and quotes. The weather still seems to be fooling us at the moment, I am so inpatient to enjoy the delights and warmer spring days! Sarah x

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  35. Thanks Sarah - slowly but surely the season if changing - about time too!

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