Flowers, flowers everywhere!

pink daffodils

This post is for me. It will serve to remind me of the fleeting moment when my early bloomers all exploded simultaneously with colorful enthusiasm. Today ahead of a cold front charging at us from the west, our air is sultry, and we’ll be downright hot this afternoon. Ah, but Early Spring will show her cruel side by this Sunday morning. A hard freeze is forecast. In town, lows will bottom out at about 28 degrees Fahrenheit. At my house, that will probably translate to 24 degrees, maybe even lower. The daffodils above will likely survive, but the early-blooming trees will not be so fortunate. And so today, in this post, I salute the beauty about to be blackened by Arctic air.

Its flowers must be viewed more closely to be fully appreciated:

The fragrance is sweet, but not overpoweringly so.

The fragrance is sweet, but not overpoweringly so.

My weeping cherry is just starting to open. Its flowers always open at the tips of its branches first, and then progress up the arching arms of this beauty. Here are a few close-ups of these fragile blooms.

See how it opens from the bottom to top?

See how it opens from the bottom to top?

My neighbor's honeybees will be so disappointed when these lovelies are prematurely killed by cold.

My neighbor’s honeybees will be so disappointed when these lovelies are prematurely killed by cold.

I would never buy pink hyacinths on my own (not my favorite color), but these were a gift. They multiply every year, and I think the cold winter has made them bloom more enthusiastically than usual. When the breeze blows their perfume my way, I cough — too potent for my tastes.

Pretty -- and the price was right.

Pretty — and the price was right.

Yesterday, the enormous stand of native Bloodroots — one of my favorite spring ephemeral wildflowers began blooming. Alas, the petals of these delicate beauties shatter easily. Predicted heavy rains will likely pound their petals into the ground. So indulge me as I share a few shots of this ever-increasing stand of ephemeral flowers.

This shot gives one a bit of a sense of their numbers in this part of my yard.

This shot gives one a bit of a sense of their numbers in this part of my yard.

I love that they were here when we moved here, and continue to expand their domain every year.

I love that they were here when we moved here, and continue to expand their domain every year.

The seeds are spread by ants, which may explain their spread in my yard, where ants of all sizes abound.

The seeds are spread by ants, which may explain their spread in my yard, where ants of all sizes abound.

Most heart-breaking of all will be the loss of my Magnolia “Butterflies” blooms. I have repeatedly counseled it to wait just a few more days, but the current round of warm air has deceived it into cracking open its enormous fuzzy buds to release its bright yellow blooms. My only consolation is that its cousin, Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ is still holding her buds tightly closed. She usually blooms a week after Butterflies, and this year appears to be no exception.

The blooms at the top of the tree always open first. These are open enough for the cold to kill them.

The blooms at the top of the tree always open first. These are open enough for the cold to kill them.

Still high up, but the color of the flowers is a bit more visible.

Still high up, but the color of the flowers is a bit more visible.

On a slightly happier note, the cold air will only prolong the productivity of my spring veggies. We enjoyed the first salad from our garden last week. Admittedly, it was a small salad, but that did not detract from the tender sweetness of the lettuces, the zing of the arugulas, and the mellow hint of onion from newly emerged chive leaves. I’ll tuck them beneath their fabric cover when the freezing temperatures approach. They should be fine.

The greens bed. The hoops support the fabric cover that protects them from freezing temperatures.

The greens bed. The hoops support the fabric cover that protects them from freezing temperatures.

I’ve been testing the soil temperature every few days. It must be a minimum of 55 degrees for carrots to germinate well. As of three days ago, it was still 48 degrees! After the weekend cold spell, I believe the temperatures may normalize. If the sun will stay out, perhaps the soil will finally warm enough for me to sow carrots and some more spinach and beets. It will be a gamble sowing this late. If summer heat arrives early, I probably won’t get much from these late-sown seeds.

On the other hand, getting the transplanted greens planted out early will certainly prolong salad season.

On the other hand, getting the transplanted greens planted out early will certainly prolong salad season.

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