April Vacation; Summer and Winter Within the Span of a Day

I always look forward to April vacation. The sun and warmth returned just in time on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I breathed a deep sigh of relief at the end of a long cold winter.  It was like little summer- working in the garden, getting the furniture out on the sunny patio to enjoy food alfresco and simply celebrating the end of winter and the dawn of a new growing season.
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One lonely and forgotten rose hip still clings to the stem of the Rosa Rugosa that is waking up.
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DSC_0008These are some of the earliest plants in the garden; Elderberry (top left), Gooseberry (top right) and Bogless Cranberry (right). The Gooseberry bushes are well established, they were some of the first plantings we did in the spring of  2001. The Elderberry and Cranberry are young, I planted them last year and am happy to see that they survived the extreme heat of last summer and the extreme cold of this past winter.
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The crocuses are dying down after a brief bloom. The snow and leaves were covering them much longer than anyone would have liked. The snowdrops are longer lasting and still blooming proud among the dead leaves from last fall.
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Hop bines are emerging, reminding me that they need to be transplanted. Last year they didn’t have the height that they need to grow along the side of the garage. I moved them to the hot tall brick facade of the house so they will have all the space they need to grow.
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Garlic, planted last fall, is growing strong (right). They will be some of our first produce harvested this season. In hind sight I should have planted a full field. Note to self- “plant as much as possible this fall”. Garlic essentially takes care of itself. All I need to do is plant and harvest. Yes, it is time consuming. But the taste of fresh garlic and knowing it is grown with care makes it all worth while.

To juxtapose the weather from Saturday to Wednesday take a look at the two photos below. On Saturday the daffodil buds were just starting to show. Wednesday in the pouring rain the first daffodil bloomed. Today I woke to an icy crust of snow covering the spring green and blooms.
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