Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Life

March 2, 2012

Spring fever hits gardener

THE DIRT ON GARDENING

I’ve got the itch.

No, it’s not fleas or bed-bugs or anything like that — it’s the itch for spring. After just returning from South Carolina and seeing all the freshly planted spring flowers blooming in beds and borders and pots it creates an anxiety that every gardener gets this time of year. I go for golf but can’t help but admire all the flowers and the signs of spring about this time of year in the South.

Of course, pansies are the predominant sightings because they are the hardiest and can withstand the colder 30s and 40s temperatures at night. Daytime temps reached into the 70s and even lower 80s one day.

Pansies, however, aren’t the only blooms seen while on my trip. Petunias were spotted on numerous occasions along with alyssum and the usual spring blooms — daffodils, tulips and crocus. The most unusual observation though was apple trees in blossom — a first for me in South Carolina this time of year.

What this all boils down to is spring fever for us northerners. We all get the itch about this time of year with only a month or two to go until we too can get out in our gardens and feel the soil sift through our fingers.

Our winter thus far has been unusual to say the least with only a smattering of snow and no sub-zero weather. Of course, the snow season isn’t over yet and the cold can be a dagger in the heart sometimes. We’ve had occasions when it’s snowed all through April and have had heavy frosts, believe it or not, in late May.

I remember well in the late ’90s, while visiting my son in Fort Wayne for a special occasion in late May, returning to the garden center only to find major damage from an unusual late frost. I was heart-broken and couldn’t believe this could happen this late in May — but it did.

We never know what mother-nature has in store — we only focus on the normal things that should occur each spring, hence the heartbreak when a freak thing happens.

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