The first unpleasant surprise was frost! The 7 am temperature on our thermometer on the north side of the house, but in the sun, said 42 degrees and I rejoiced. But my husband brought in the cat’s frozen water dish from the welcoming platform. The first shock. Then I went out to open our ad hoc cold frame and the inside was all frosty. I’d better mark this frost date in my Journal.
The second, and final, unpleasant surprise of the morning was finding one of the 10 newly planted and mulched black raspberry plants dug up. Who would do that? The deer have munched the hostas, but there’s not much to eat on a new ‘black cap’. I will have to rush out and replant this, but I fear the roots may have dried out beyond reviving.
Fortunately there was a pleasant surprise. The Rangoon rhododendron’s buds are preparing to open, as are the buds on Boule de Neige. A tiny red primrose was also blooming this morning. I haven’t been paying very much attention to this bed next to the Cottage Ornee, but I got here in time. Buds of the tree peonies are swelling. It won’t be long.
The reason I bought Beauty of Moscow is because the fat pink buds are just as beautiful as the big double white flowers. I bought this lilac locally from the Shelburne Farm and Garden Center several years ago.
The lovely blossoms on this ancient apple tree next to the Cottage Ornee are no surprise. The Cottage was sited to nestle between, and almost under, this apple tree and a large high bush cranberry (virburnam), both of which suffered terribly in the Ice Storm of 2008. Yet it still blooms, full of grace and determination.