April 2, 2009

Spring in Spokane

Mother Nature decided to celebrate April Fool's Day in Spokane. She let us think spring had arrived on the first day of April, then hit us with a snowstorm that night. This morning we awoke to 3 or 4 inches of snow. My purple crocuses that were so adorable yesterday are feeling a bit smothered today.

Actually, it didn't really feel like spring yesterday with the temperatures in the upper 30's F. But I bundled up and got a bit of gardening done anyway (and felt pretty healthy the whole time, hooray!). I should have known something was coming when several of the Seattle bloggers mentioned snow early this week. Over here in eastern Washington, the weather systems reach us a few days after hitting Seattle and rest of the western side of the state.

Yesterday I enjoyed beautiful pictures of dogwoods in North Carolina on Freda Cameron's blog. My dogwood looks pretty today, too.

Yesterday I pulled the rest of the mulch away from my rosebushes. The buds are swelling but the leaves haven't broken out yet. Last week three roses arrived from Regan Nursery, and I planted a couple of impulse-buy roses from Costco the week before. Hopefully the snow will melt quickly so I can plant the ones from David Austin that are scheduled to arrive tomorrow. I'm not worried about the snow damaging them as all of the roses I plant are fairly hardy, and they're not too vulnerable as long as they haven't leafed out.

While transplanting a few things to make room for the new roses, I enjoyed the new foliage of my delphiniums. The white-flowering ones have lovely green leaves, and the new leaves of the purple ones are maroon.

While puttering around outside, I tried to ignore the primroses in my front porch pot that I keep forgetting to water. The porch is open on the south and west sides, so it traps the low winter sun and really heats up on sunny afternoons. I forget to go out there to water the pot during cold weather, so my primroses got fried.

Like Catherine, I picked up an unlabeled hellebore from Home Depot this week. Mine wasn't on the clearance rack, but $10 for a 1-gallon hellebore is still a good price. The ones I ordered from Heronswood were twice as expensive and will probably be half the size. But they're both going to be PINK and that makes up for a lot. I'll post more on them when they arrive in a couple of weeks.

Ignoring the fact that it was definitely too cold to lounge around outside, I unstacked our plastic Adirondack-knockoff chairs (someday we'll get nicer ones!) and arranged them around the patio. We'll get to use them eventually.

This morning I was going to have the children clean their rooms so I could vacuum, but instead I'm sitting at the computer while they romp outside. The snow is wet and perfect for snowmen.

Waiting for spring in Spokane is tiresome, but I do have some consolation. Last night I stocked up on clearance rack sweaters and long-sleeved shirts at the Eddie Bauer Outlet during their Spring Sale. At least I'll have plenty of opportunities to wear them before the weather gets too warm!

A note from Tuesday, April 7, 2009: Less than a week after the kids built their snowmen, we had two sunny days of 70+ degree F weather. In our sheltered backyard, the temperature climbed well above that, so the kiddos pulled out their swimsuits and a sprinkler and had a great time getting wet. No more complaints about Spokane's spring from me (for a while)!


  1. Making a tour of my google reader garden blogs this morning, I was interested to see how different spring looks depending on where you live. In Northern California, my roses have not only leafed out, but also have buds on them, daffodils are pretty much over and almost every tree is fully leafed out.

    Just realized some might consider this a neener neener comment, but I've noticed residents in colder climates are much more appreciative of warm weather and not nearly so wimpy about the cold. When I worked in marketing, at one point my advertising agency was in Minneapolis and a favorite contest the creatives enjoyed was seeing who could go the longest wearing shorts to work. I think the winner managed to get all the way into December.

  2. At least the kids appreciated it.

    I hope your David Austin Roses flourish


  3. VW~~ What is up with this weather? It's a little bit warmer in western Oregon today but yesterday was bone chilling, at least for us pansies here. :) I bought a few roses at Costco too. They were J & P David Austins therefore hard to resist. I swore off roses years ago but you know how it goes...I'm flower starved and easy prey for plant retailers. :) Here's to a major warm up!

  4. VW, your dogwood looks lovely. The photo is very nice. Think of all the nice soft soaking of water as the snow melts that your new trees are getting! Much better than a quick rain storm that will have lots of runoff.
    And of course every kid needs to build at least one more snowman!

  5. I can't believe how much snow you ended up with. Enough for a snowman. Your garden does look pretty in snow too. I bet you are really happy to see the new growth coming up! I still think you got a great deal on the hellebore. I think anything under $20 is good. I look forward to seeing your pink ones!

  6. I can no longer complain of snow mixed with rain when you're getting enough powder for a snowman. It does make for some lovely photos! Your poor primroses! Well hey, more room for new plants, right? Stay warm.

  7. VW ! That is a bit of a shock isn't it ? .. but you took some very pretty pictures of the white stuff girl !
    We are being threatened with some in a few more days .. so I'm trying to deal with it in a preemptive way ? LOL
    Why can't I find bargains like that at Home Depot ? : )

  8. You got some great deals there, all the way around, what with plants, chairs and shirts...way to go VW! The snow is so much fun for the kids, even if we've had too much of it! I'm sorry for you, though;-( I know it's time to play in dirt, not snow. Too bad mother nature hasn't answered her cell phone yet to get the message:-D

  9. VW, You have to remember that posting photos of healthy delphiniums counts as Just Plain Showing Off to so many of us less fortunate gardeners.

    Oh, I guess I'd rather see and envy, than not see them.

  10. I was out and about yesterday and just saw the mention. Thanks so much. Yes, it's spring-like, but lots of rain the past day or so.


  11. That's a lot of snow, VW. Of course any snow would be a lot for me but really... it's April.Glad you're not worried about your roses... it always amazes me to see snow laden plants and trees that will not be harmed by all that cold. Surely spring is not too far off for you... here's to building snowmen in the meantime. The kids always know how to make the most of life!
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

  12. Susan, had to laugh about the shorts contest. Seems like people at my office in Iowa did similar stuff. I think cold climates do make for sturdier people, or at least more stoic. We realize that no amount of whining, money, or government help can fix some things - like the weather. At least Spokane's summers aren't as humid as Iowa's. They get bitter winters and sticky summers, poor fellows!
    Rob, my Austins just arrived this morning. I'll post more on all these new roses soon.
    DP - you should see all the baby delphs on my windowsill! Dowdeswell sent me a free packet of Pagan Purples after my post on them (not solicited beforehand, so no conflict of interest there) and they've sprouted very successfully. Don't ask me where I'm putting 48 more delphs, though. I really haven't figured it out, but am loath to give them away as few of my friends would keep such prissy plants happy.

  13. It's that humorous, slightly sarcastic guy who can't grow clematis. Thanks so much for making my day. My wife almost lost her tea via her nose when I read it aloud. Most honored.

    I hope your snow subsides and spring hits you full in the kisser.

    BTW: Gorgeous kids!

  14. what variable weather. I love the pics of the dogwood and flowers in the snow. Kids are great - they love water whether in the form of snow or liquid. Here when it does rain, young kids are puzzled, it's an unfamiliar phenomenan!


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