3/31/2011

Early Spring at the Park

A few cold nights and even some snow has put spring on hold at the park. Not that you can tell from the following photos. Earlier, the days had warmed up nicely and the gardens began to awaken. Cincinnati is in a precarious spot when it comes to Magnolias. We often have a few warm days that set the blooms in motion followed by cold, blustery days that put the brakes on spring and take their toll on the delicate petals. 
The perimeter of the Adopt-a-Plot garden is planted with Magnolias set within a Greek-key pattern. I held my breath as I made my way up the steps and under the Southern Magnolia to the gardens. Would the flowers be brown and wasted or had they survived the cold snap?

To my relief the damage was noticeable but not devastating. Many of the flowers looked a bit abused by the cold but all-in-all the trees wore a beautiful spring coat of flowers. Many buds have not yet begun to open so I hope they remain bundled up and nap a bit longer till the threat of cold days diminishes.

I do not know if it was my imagination but the gardens were enveloped in a wonderful scent. Was it the magnolia flowers and the warming earth? It was intoxicating. I breathed deeper and deeper, trying to inhale the warmth and richness of spring deep into my body to cast out the beige feeling that had taken over. When I feel a bit off, blah or just in a slump I call it beige. Rather fitting, yes? I can not think of anything beige that makes me smile. But the blushing pink of a Magnolia bloom- that is pure joy.

Knowing we were still due for a few more days of cold and grey I settled into one of my favorite spots in the park to soak up the spring day. When summer is in full swing, the arbor above the benches will be thick with trumpet vines and roses. This day, my resting spot offered daffodils, Lenten rose, grape hyacinths, snowdrops and ginger. A group of teenage boys were playing football, talking loudly and watching to see who was watching them more than they were watching their own game.  Another sign that spring was on its way.

3/02/2011

Subtle Signs of Spring Arriving

It was one of those days that fools you. The crisp, clear blue skies and the soft breeze brought a promise of spring. But the increasing cold I felt in my fingers and the shiver that crept across my shoulders when I stepped out of the warmth of the sun and into the shade were reminders that spring is still a few steps away.












New Toys!

As my dad says, you need the right tools to get the job done, and the right tool makes things so much easier. Well, I have two new tools to use at my Ault Park gardens.

I finally bought a garden bag for hauling debris and cuttings to the compost pile. I was using the eco-friendly grocery store totes, but the handles got in the way and they were just too small. Plus, let's be honest, they look a bit pedestrian and I am a garden pro. LOL!!

My second toy was a gift form CobraHead. They sent a CobraHead Weeder and Cultivator. So far, I love it. It has a sharp blade, the short handle is ideal for my small space gardening and it has a nice weight to it- feels good in my hand. The company says it can do many, many tasks and I am banking on that! Since I have to haul my tools, plants and hoses to the gardens, the less I have to carry the better. Thank you CobraHead, can't wait to try it out!