Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Spring in the Country of Northern New York!

Here we are in Central/Northern New York and it's mid May ~

Our spring is slowly emerging. Taking her good old time. Well, one thing we northerners can say - "At least it's not snowing!" We did have a heavy frost last night here in Mexico, NY. Tonight is supposed to be cold too, so keep those tender plants covered overnight until it warms up again. And hopefully, that won't be too long. I saw a weather report where it might get close to 80 on Thursday. A good rule of thumb to follow has always been to wait until after Memorial Day to plant your garden and flowers. Usually by then the ground has warmed up and frosts are over.

White-breasted Nuthatch 

About the only thing blooming profusely are the dandelions. But the grass looks great - nice and green. And the pollinators love the dandelions so that's a good thing.

After the cold and snowy April there doesn't seem to be any great displays of daffodils, even they got set back after the snow that hit last month. And the tulips are coming into bloom slowly, too. I'm not sure how my Irises are going to do this year. I think I have to dig them all up, separate them, and plant them in a drier, sunnier spot. That Iris bed can be used for additional perennials that I split up. Also, I'm thinking of taking some Hydrangea cuttings along with some cuttings from other shrubs to start in that garden, too. When we visited our daughter and son-in-law this past spring in Northern Georgia, they had several Oak-Leaf Hydrangea seedlings that had sprouted beneath their tree so my husband dug up some of them to plant around here. They had a set-back from the transplant and cold weather up here, but they appear to be picking up.

White-throated Sparrow

The leaves on the trees are finally making an appearance, but still wrapped up in their little cocoon-shape buds. It's really a hard transition after spending several weeks in the south where spring has been blooming there for several weeks, and then when you return to the north the landscape looks like it could be fall.

Still not much growth on the trees and shrubs.

Some early perennials are doing fine, like my Pulmonaria (Lungwort). A great shade plant and the leaves stay green all year. This perennial also makes a nice ground cover. The Bleeding Hearts are coming up, but the buds are still very small so it will be a few more days before they are blooming.


In the photo of the Brunnera, pictured above, I thought I was purchasing Jack Frost which has a light blue flower, but this one has a white flower so it must have been mislabeled when I purchased it. The little flowers will bloom from early to mid-spring. The flowers look like Forget-Me-Nots. The Brunnera makes a nice ground cover, but the variegated varieties do not spread as much as the older species. They grow 12"-15" tall and spread about the same in diameter. They are hardy in zones 3-8. They will grow well in full shade, and will tolerate morning sun as long as it doesn't dry out. They are deer resistant.

Fern Fronds. The leaf of a fern is called a frond. That's to separate them from a leaf on a flowering plant. Leaves on a flowering plant uses leaves for photosynthesis only,  whereas the function of a frond if for photosynthesis and reproduction.

Male Goldfinch in flight on left, female Goldfinch on right, Purple Finch center.

The migrating birds have returned to our area and we're enjoying their songs during the day. We have several pairs of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Goldfinches, and Grackles,  that are taking turns at the bird feeder.

Song Sparrow

The Trilliums have started blooming.

Cultivated Trillium

Wild Trillium

“Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing.” 
― Kenneth GrahameThe Wind in the Willows

Have a great week! 
Hope you can get out and enjoy it!

Feel free to leave a comment. . .