Thursday, March 1, 2018

Signs of an Early Pennsylvania Spring

by Karen Rose Smith

Both of my mystery series—Caprice De Luca Home Stager and Daisy’s Tea Garden—are set in Pennsylvania.  A few years ago, I began to keep a journal with the state of the landscape, months the trees bud, evergreens that turn yellow for winter, trees and bushes that change color.  I also keep track of when our bulbs like daffodils, tulips and hyacinths begin to pop up.

During the last two years there have been differences in the schedule. This year at the end of February we have daffodils budding and tulips breaking through the ground!  That doesn’t usually happen until the end of April.  We’ve had several springlike 60 degree days. We even experienced an 80 degree day.  It’s lovely.  I like the warmer winter.  But...if the temperature dips back to freezing, we’ll lose the buds and any flowers beginning to open unless we cover them at night. 

Each year I start seeds in our basement with a heat pad and grow light. This January I planted three varieties of petunias—purple and red pirouettes and a double yellow flower.  I also planted a variety of snapdragons called Appleblossom Twinnies which is a bushier double bloom.  They are beautiful border flowers.  Since we have stray cats in our yard daily, I grow these flowers so they are pesticide free. 

I love the signs of spring.  However, when spring starts, I like it to last.  But the times are changing and so are the dates in my flower, bushes and tree journal. 

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