Slow Spring - I Have Proof

Spring is slow to arrive this year, and I have proof.

In 2002, I had daffodils blooming here at May Dreams Gardens on March 14th.

In 2006, I wrote in my garden journal that many daffodils had buds on March 15th, I assumed they bloomed shortly afterwards.

In 2001, I wrote that the first daffodil bloomed on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th.

In 2004, the first daffodils were blooming on March 19th.

In 2007, I enjoyed not only the first daffodil blooming on March 21st, but also a high temperature of 76. We set a record four days later on March 25th with a high temperature of 81. That really got things going that spring, but later everything came to a crashing halt with a very cold April.

In 2005, some daffodils were blooming on March 22nd.

In 2003, I don’t know. I can’t find references in my garden journal about when the daffodils bloomed that year, but I did note on one day in March that the rabbits were eating the leaves of the Hellebores. Go figure.

Which brings us to 2008. Here it is March 28th, and no daffodils are yet blooming.

There are buds, but no blooms. I am hopeful that tomorrow’s predicted sunshine and warmer temperatures will coax these daffodils to bloom.

I will accept this slow spring if once it warms up, it stays warmed up. I do not want another spring like last year. That was an awful experience. As was the dry summer. And the time I got stung by a German yellow jacket. And the other time I got stung.

But I don’t talk about those 'less than positive experiences of gardening' especially with ‘those who don’t garden’. They wouldn’t understand, would they? They would not understand this compulsion to garden and what gardeners go through some years.

If you are reading this, you probably have this gardening compulsion, don't you? Do you hold back on talking about some of the 'less positive aspects' of gardening when you are talking about gardening with ‘those who don’t garden’?


  1. I wish I weren't so quick to complain about the heat while gardening, but I'm afraid I'm a weenie where that's concerned. So I am in complete sympathy when I hear a northern blogger complain about the winter that wouldn't end. I feel your pain, only the opposite! (Does that make sense?)

    But Carol, buds are nearly as good as blooms, and you've got plenty of 'em.

  2. I'm looking forward to being able to look back on my journal next year and see what was happening at the same time of year.

    I often wonder if my neighbors think I'm crazy, walking about every day looking obsessively at my plants, down on my hands and knees taking photos...

  3. You are so right about the non gardeners. They say, oh what a pretty garden, so much work. The best thing is just say how much you love to work in the garden, it's not really work, they nod, you nod, yes labor of love, no details, please. They won't get it unless they are gardeners themselves. Then you can go into the minute details of weeding, timing of blooms, bug stings, all the fun stuff.

    Frances at Faire Garden

  4. Pam's right, buds are almost as good as blooms. Right about now I'd be happy to even have any buds. I could go for a nice, gradual warmup too if it stays warm. That doesn't usually happen around here, but we'll see!

  5. Carol, complaining about the weather in Chicago, or the cicadas, or a bad year for wasps, or mosquitoes, or how bad the Cubs are doing, or all of the above, is kind of like a national pastime when you grow up in the Chicago area.

    You don't have to be a gardener to participate!

  6. I happen to speak my mind on most things. So I probably say exactly what I'm thinking. But I do dread the heat here. When the heat hits hard, I won't be out in the garden as much. So that's negative, I guess. And I live in a garden home and none of my windows point out to my gardens!

  7. Maybe we gardeners are not so different from people who play golf in the rain or those who run in marathons or the fans at rock concerts. When sharing their experiences of putting on wet grass, hitting the wall at mile 24 or being crushed by the crowd, their non-participant listeners will take it as complaint and say 'Well, then, what do you do it for?"

    Because it's fun, of course ;-]

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  8. Last year's spring was incredibly late for us so I'm still holding out that this year will be a bit earlier. Gardeners are always optimists.

  9. Annie's got it right, that we just have a different obsession/passion/hobby/vocation than those who are into other things such as golf or curling, or collecting Hummels, or making quilts. I happen to NEED to garden like I NEED to write or breathe. And as a northern gardener I know how you're feeling, but at least you can still take comfort that even with your slow spring--you're way ahead of us in Nova Scotia. Daffodil buds? How about half-inch shoots showing where the snow has left?:-)

  10. Carol, I have daffodil buds too. Just a few more days and we'll have blooms!

  11. When a non-gardneer compliments my garden, I smile and say than you. But when a fellow gardener says something about it, we can spend hours 'comparing notes'!

  12. Compulsion, obsession what ever you want to call it I have it. It is a wonderful thing to get you up and going each day. Keeps ones mind working too.

    I have been looking back at my garden journals too. We are having a very slow start this year. My daffodils were finished blooming at this time last year.

    I like this slower and I hope steadier warming to spring. I just hope we don't get another prolonged freeze in April. That was bad last year.

  13. I whine all the time but just to all of you! Non-Gardeners just don't want to hear it and it might inspire them not to garden and that's not what we want. We want converts! I love your buds. Please send them on to New England.

  14. Slooooow spring, too. My daffodils are budded, but in a holding pattern like yours. We had freezing rain last night...ugh!

    I had so many wasp stings last year it wasn't funny. I hope to get some of those beautiful colored glass wasp catchers in Gardeners Supply catalog for this year. Pretty and practical!

  15. Guess what guys, you have a non-gardener reading this post. Back home in Maine I do plant a token bed of color, some herbs and a few pots by the door, but my son's more into it.

    I love looking at and photographing other people's gardens, and, yes, I do track spring too by what is blooming. The daffs were out in late January in England this year! That's early even for them.

    I've gotten more interested in gardening because the protagonist in the novel (S.A.D.) I'm revising now is a gardener. I've given her a passion for wildflowers to hide my ignorance. Her neglect of her garden reveals her inner turmoil. Plus most of the narrative takes place during the LONG Maine winter.

    Anyway, I hope I didn't make you feel self-conscious. It helps me to know how gardeners think, so thank you! And also for these lovely images of spring.

  16. Spring is slow in coming this year here in Ohio too!

    At least you have buds...ours have not even done that!

    I just wanted you to know I've enjoyed your blog all week as I have in the past!

    Have a bright and happy day! ☼

  17. I tell the unvarnished truth to non-gardeners only when I can relate it as part of a humorous (or my attempt at humorous) anecdote. My family, bless their hearts, have to hear all my garden whining.

  18. i am glad you mentioned last year's painful spring. i am also glad for a slow spring.

    sarah-i too am from harpswell maine! how small is this world? and i lived in europe for a long time-not britain, though i visited there.

  19. It seems to progressing slowly but surely here as well Carol. I thought that the Lilac was bloom by this time last year. In fact I checked my blog and they were blooming on March 26, 07.

  20. I'm impressed that you have a journal to compare year to year. That's something I haven't ever started doing. Echoing the slow warm up in Colorado too and no daffodils blooming in my yard yet either.

  21. Pam, You probably can't imagine how cold it can get in the winter here. Fortunately, no one tries to garden in the cold, just shovel snow. Buds are good!

    Amy, You'll love having a record of your garden. Yes, your neighbors probably wonder, but let them!

    Frances, We will have fun talking about the "fun stuff" of gardening while in Austin. I'll show you the scars on my hands...

    Cinj, I hope you get buds soon!

    Annie in Austin, You hit the nail on the head, "Because it's fun".

    Melanie, I agree, most gardener's are optimist.

    Jodi, I'm convinced your spring has to come eventually!

    Robin's Nesting Place, It's exciting, isn't it. But I don't want to say good bye to the crocuses just yet.

    Beckie, We sure can!

    Lisa at Greenbow, April 2007 was bad, wasn't it?

    Layanee, Watch your mail for any of my spare buds. Wait, check that, does a gardener ever have spare buds?

    Connie, 2006 was the year I kept getting stung by wasps (paper wasps). Last year it was the yellow jackets. What will it be this year?

    Sarah Laurence, No problem to have a non-gardener read my blog or any gardening blog. We might convince you to do some more gardening, not with posts like this one, but with other posts.

    Tammy, Thanks for the nice comment. You'll have some buds, soon.

    Mr. McGregor's Daughter, That's what I try to do, too. My family knows I'm obsessed.

    Tina, This slow spring will be fine if once it warms up, it stays warm!

    Curtis, Nice to have a blog to check!

    Kathleen, I wish my journal went back further than 2001. I have notes from other years, but not in journal form.

    Thanks all for the comments and joining in the discussion.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  22. I feel your pain. Spring is slow coming this year. The crocus in my garden this year did not bloom until March 29th! Last year it was in the first week of March.


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