Leap Day Options

Tomorrow is Leap Day, an extra day added every four years to February.

Who had the brilliant idea to add an extra day to winter every four years?

I understand the need to add an extra day to the year every four years to keep us all lined up with the seasons and all, but does that day have to be in winter?

May I suggest some extra days that would be better for gardeners?

How about April 31st? We could all use an extra day in the spring for gardening, and even though this wouldn’t be before my own area’s frost free date, I could still support this extra day in the spring. We could even make it a “National Day of Gardening” and encourage people who have never gardened before to start a small garden.

How about June 31st? Now this would be an ideal day for gardeners! We would be well into summer, but not into the dog days of summer, so our gardens would still be looking their best. This could be a “National Garden Tour Day”. We would encourage everyone to go out and enjoy all the gardens in their area. Plus, I bet we could get those wedding planners and florists to support adding a day in June, since it is a popular month for weddings.

And if those dates don’t seem quite right, how about September 31st? Autumn is also a beautiful season and a great time for planting trees and shrubs in the garden. This could be a “National Plant a New Tree Day”. Just think how our cities and towns and gardens could be transformed if every family planted and cared for a new tree on this extra day in the fall.

Of course, if none of these days seems quite right, I have one other suggestion.

Repeat any day in May. We could have two May 15th’s, for example. Think how much extra gardening we could do if we had 32 days in May, the best month of the year for gardening.

Which date would you like to have instead of February 29th? Let me know and I'll find out who decides these things and let them know that there are better days to add than a day in winter.

Have a wonderful Leap Day.


  1. How about an extra holiday? We could have 2 valentine's days for people who forget. That would keep them out of trouble. Or 2 fourth's of July for extra vacation time. Or 2 thanksgivings. We could all use an extra day being thankful. We should leave Easter & Christmas alone as they are too special to mess with. How about 2 haloweens, the better to scare you with?

  2. Could we choose our leap day on a region-by-region basis? An extra day in June would be downright miserable in Texas, whereas an extra day in March would be heavenly. Especially if it were a state holiday. :)

    Rachel in Austin

  3. I think an extra December 19 would be best for everyone. It would give you all one more day to send me gifts & wishes for my birthday.

  4. I vote for the early spring day. I always have soo much to do during spring and could use an extra day.

  5. How about October 7.5th? The leaves are fantastic here then. The days are warm and the nights are cool, great sleeping weather. I'd like it to be a major autumn holiday with lots of good food please. It would be nice if 7.5 is the official holiday but that we'll celebrate it on a Monday.

  6. Carol,

    Your sly wit just sneaks up on me sometimes. Very funny stuff. And I agree! Who needs an extra day in February?!?

    Robin at Bumblebee

  7. You're so funny. I'm with Rachel. It's too hot in Austin to consider adding an extra day to summer. But spring or fall would be fine. Actually, Feb. 29 is pretty darn nice for us. ;-)

  8. Absolutely! I vote for May. Surely early May would be okay for everyone. Or even end of April.

  9. Yeah, who made this awful rule? Extending the end of winter by a full day is ridiculous.

    I vote for April 31st. An extra day to mulch the gardens and get ready for May blooms.

  10. Eleanor... Repeat a holiday? That wasn't one of the options!

    Rachel... If we chose by region we'd be all out of sync with each other until we all had our extra day. Wouldn't that be more confusing than an extra hot day in Texas?

    Jim/artofgardening... But that would be another day of winter, which is what we are trying to avoid. Plus all those kids waiting for Christmas wouldn't like that extra day the week before!

    Lisa at Greenbow... Yours is the first sensible suggestion. An extra spring day would be quite lovely.

    Seasonseatingsfarm... I don't know about that "7.5" business, but an extra nice fall day would be nice.

    Robin(Bumblebee)... Just trying to keep you thinking, keep you ready for anything.

    Pam/digging... It is too nice for you all right now, but not for us. Surely we can come up with another day we can all agree is nice for everyone.

    Christine... An extra day in May is my first choice, too.

    Mary... April 31st is actually my second choice, but if it works for you, I could make it work here, too.

    Thanks all for joining in the fun and for the additional suggestions.
    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  11. I am a fuddy duddy, if we change it then the knuckles will not work to keep the 30 and 31 months straight and the poem "30 days hath September.... would be out the window. Better not fool with Mother Nature or whomever.

  12. I've never liked how we only have 28 (or 29) days in February. Why not have a few less 31 day months and tack the extra days onto February? The whole system seems a little silly! :) Through the link in your blog post, I found this information about how Leap Day was February 30th at one point in a couple of countries. Maybe I'm on to something...

    I have to agree with Rachel. The weather in Southern California this last week has been beautiful! It's nice to come home and see my neighbor's outside in their gardens again. I wouldn't want to give up a day like that.

    Birding Depot's Blog

  13. What a brilliant idea! Let's move Leap day to Spring or Summer. An extra day for gardening or visitng gardens would be terrific! /Katarina

  14. what an enlightening comment is this! thank you. I never thought about it before that way - mabye because I always focus on a friend that has a birthday on 29th of Feb - and I wonder every 4 year - how this could happen that she has birthday every 4 years? of course she celebrates every year, but still she was born on 29th...

  15. Carol, love your light hearted posts, sometimes things are too serious and we need to step back and laugh at the roses. April 31 sounds good here too, it is after our last frost date and the heat has not settled in, our best weather, although fall is good too.

    Frances at Faire Garden

  16. Great post! An extra day in spring or summer would be perfect. August 2nd would be good since it's my birthday, an extra day for gifts? Or maybe not so good an extra day of getting older, LOL.

  17. I am glad someone thought of this! Go Carol! Now you need to pitch it to the powers that be. I vote for April 31st. It is beautiful most everywhere then!

  18. Love it, love it! I vote for an extra day in June, because sadly, May isn't always merry here. We've had snow in May before, and we have some really chilly days. But June 31 works for me!

  19. I vote for an extra day of May. There's always too much going on then (graduations, First Communions, Mother's Day) that it's hard to find time to just enjoy the garden. Every free moment must be devoted to working in it.

  20. Hilarious. You have such an imagination.

    Maybe I would choose to have two birthdays. But then I would be even older than I already am!

    Like Pam said, today is hard to beat down here. It's 71 outside and not a cloud in the sky. I've got work to do but at least I can sit outside with the laptop.

  21. I'd gladly switch to an extra spring or summer day every 4 years!

  22. I choose May for an extra day. It's my favorite month of the year, sweet smell to the air and warm but not too hot days. Yea, May.

  23. I agree with you wholeheartedly!
    Brenda Kula

  24. I would also choose for an extra day in May. Who needs more winter days.


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