March marks the official start of spring. Here in Chicago, we generally still get quite a mixture of weather conditions throughout the month, but there is no denying that spring is pushing through. Very early on we begin to see little purple and yellow flowers popping up. The Crocus flowers are always the first to appear in our yard every year and they don’t seem to have a problem taking on the harsh storms of March.
The tulips started to come up early in the month as well, but it’ll be a several week wait until we actually see any flowers. The Tulips in our yard are a very deep purple, almost black. Very pretty. Each year that we’ve lived with this garden, these tulips seem to get a little brighter – they seem to show more of a reddish hue as they age. Over the years, I’ve noticed color changes in several plants. I’m guessing it has to do with nutrients or lack of nutrients in the soil… or maybe it is something that naturally evolves as bulb flowers get older. Interesting to witness, intrigued to learn more about these changes.
Everything was seeming all springy, until mid-month when we were hit with the largest snow of the year! After having several gorgeous warm days, winter decided it didn’t want to miss out and gave us one last snow. It was a dreamy snowfall, large snowflakes slowly falling over the course of 2 days- light and fluffy lake effect snow amounting to about 8 inches in our neighborhood.
In less than a week the snow was gone, it rained for days, and then we had an amazing 70° weekend. I spent 2+ hours spring cleaning the yard, getting rid of last years left overs. Although I felt like I cleaned up pretty good before winter hit, there was still a lot dried plants hanging around. Yardwork is hardwork! But it felt good to be outside in the garden again!
Sage is so pretty even when it’s dried up and shriveled. Peonies- not so much- they definitely look prettier when they are thriving. Once I cleared all of the old growth from the peonies, I found new sprouts coming up. I accidentally pulled up some of them out along with the old, so I transplanted them to another area in the yard.
I call this area, the Hosta Hall- through all of the old growth, you can kind of see the hostas peeking up – they’re definitely there! In about a month this outdoor hallway will be full of hosta greenery and eventually beautiful purple flowers.
One last image from the clean-up…. the “Easter” eggs… ugh. Looks like a magical Easter scene, doesn’t it? Well- I don’t know. It’s a bit of a mystery, I found 6 perfectly placed full chicken eggs laying around the yard. I know they have been there for a couple (few) months and I can’t be entirely sure how they got there, still perfectly intact. I’m guessing city rats have something to do with it, but imaging a rat retrieving these eggs and successfully placing them around the yard like this… I don’t know, can they do that? Whatever the case may be, the eggs had to go along with the other scraps.
Even if I skipped the spring cleaning, the plants would find their way through the debris. But with just a little bit of help clearing out the old, these small sprouts will have a much easier time growing up. Here is a whole bunch of Glory of the Snow ‘Chionodoxa’ sprouts that were uncovered.
Siberian Squill ‘Scilla siberica’ – These little flowers are pretty small, but they’re hard to miss with their bright blue petals.
The Daffodils ‘Narcissus Barrett Browning’ doubled in size and are ready to bloom pretty soon- This variety has white and orange flowers, we also have a patch of yellow Daffodils down the way.
And by the end of the month, we still had a ton of Crocuses around – I would call them the flower of the month, the month of March, and because they are so cute and springy, here are a few more images to enjoy….