Every April those of us who garden in northern climes are anxious to get outdoors and into our gardens. We're so anxious that we tend to forget what the season was like the previous year. Certainly I do.
I always picture warm, sunny days and that I was way ahead on garden chores at this time. And the plants were all growing ahead of schedule as well.
Separating my memories from reality is easily done if I just take a look at my garden journal from April and May last year.
Guess what? I was complaining about wind and rain and cold temperatures. The weather was similar to what we're experiencing this week.
And I'm way ahead on my chores this year compared with 2013. Last year Mark got a load of mulch from Olbrich Botanical Gardens on April 25. This year he filled up the truck with bulk mulch on April 10.
I had a hands-on gardening class at Olbrich on May 3rd last year where the weather was so cold and rainy I noted in the journal that I wore tights under flannel-lined pants.
The truth is that memory is never reliable. So I am trying to enjoy the moment and work outdoors when I can and not worry about schedules and dates.
In particular, I am enjoying the clump of Spirea japonica 'Magic Carpet' on the slope above the pond (left side of photo). They have beautiful red shoots and bronze foliage; the only plant in the garden whose brown foliage is a sign of life rather than death this spring.