Thursday, January 21, 2010

Warning: this post is going to kick you in the gut

Witch hazel blooms in winter

Oh for the love of an early spring. I've been smelling it. Yes, smelling it. I first noticed it on Monday. Something was blooming. I sniffed around like the child catcher on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.



I was certain there was a plant close by that was blooming. I didn't tap my nose quite so menacingly as the child catcher there, but I knew that scent. I sniffed, and sniffed. And then AdRi found it.

An early early sign

Oh sweetness, a viburnum blooming its sweet little self at the back of a border. That gentle pink color. Delicate. Pink. Pastel. And then today I stepped outside and it was practically balmy here in Portland. It might have even hit 60 degrees. And I smelled it again. Plants. Blooms. Things are waking up.

(insert sound of needle on a record player tearing across the record)
It's January 21st!

It is not spring. It is not close to spring. It is still winter and people, it will be cold and rainy for months. Don't be fooled by this. (Especially you, gentle fruit trees: do not begin to bud or bloom yet, because I want cherries!)

And you gardeners thinking of planting your tomatoes? Keep in mind that Portland's last "safe" frost date is April 26th. That's about three months from now. Don't pack those coats quite yet. And definitely don't fall into the trap of thinking it's spring. I told you this post was going to kick you in the gut!

Tough love, tough love.

12 comments:

Recovering Straight Girl said...

There are some green bushes with small wee flowers (I can't tell the color yet) that are planted between two buildings at PSU. The smell is SO strong that you can actually smell it inside the building! Amazing!

cat said...

ah yes...we have gone from 20 degree weather to 75 in about 10 days...people here are sure winter is over. look at the farmer's almanac people, i do believe the groundhog is going to see his shadow this year as we have predictions of more hard freezes and snow here in austin...snow in february here..unheard of!!

i miss pnw weather so much sometimes...i try to recreate what i can here..won't work..haha!

love you..stay warm!!

Courtney said...

I'm in Eugene and shhh... I planted spinach and will probably put broccolli in this weekend. I just can't wait any longer!

Jacquelyn said...

* sniff * boo-hoo!

Kai Jones said...

Daphne--daphne is that wonderful sweet smell on the green bushes with the tiny flowers. I have one planted by my front door so I can enjoy it as I leave the house for work in the dark mornings.

A Lewis said...

Well well now....it's funny you'd post this. Take a look at my post from a bit ago. Forsythia rocks!

Grace Peterson said...

And then we'll have another one of these balmy teasers the week before our perpetually rainy spring break.

bemused said...

It could also be sweetbox or Sarcoccoca, RSG. Most of the year, this is a fairly nondescript plant - although its glossy foliage is very nice - but when it blooms, oh, my, it's heavenly! I have watched so many people sniff the air and look around, trying to figure out which plant is producing the wonderful fragrance. They almost never figure it out because the flowers are tiny wisps of white tucked under the leaves and hard to see.

Kym Pokorny posted about it recently, http://blog.oregonlive.com/kympokorny/2010/01/sarcococca_sweet_box_fragrance.html

I'm loving my witch hazel, winter honeysuckle and sweetbox right now. Mmmmmmm, I love the winter gardens' aromas.

bemused said...

Forgot to say that I loved the image of you sniffing around like the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (you're nicer and prettier, though). Not that I remember that character or that scene from the movie. Guess I best rent it and brush up on my movie trivia.

morganpdx said...

All I can say is this: I planted my winter daphne three years ago, and IT IS FINALLY GOING TO BLOOM ANY DAY NOW. I see the blooms. I'm in complete rapturous ecstasy over this.

Take that, 2+ more months of rain and cold!

Kim said...

I have bulbs coming up in my yard! I can't stop them. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens to them.

Cher said...

LALALALALALALALACan'thearyouLALALALALALALALA
(Runs off to buy more seeds...)