Presenting the first daffodil of 2008, picture taken on March 6th!
There were actually two daffodils blooming in the same spot, but we had rain and chilly temperatures and the second one was looking a bit down on its luck. These daffodils actually opened on Monday, March 3rd. I like to keep track of when the first daffodil blooms (er... I'm weird that way?) so for the record, previous first daffodils have bloomed on:
I can tell from the photo that the 2007 first daffodil was in the same spot as this year's first daffodil. Must be a nice warm corner of the yard?
Our yard seems to be getting a bit of a slow start this year, or at least it feels that way. I think everything might still be recovering from last year's late freeze and long drought. We have the usual amount of crocuses, daffodils, and tulips - they're just blooming a little on the slow side. The garlic we planted in the fall is coming along nicely, the rosemary bush made it through the winter (so far), and the chives are popping up again.
We've been out in the yard a bit lately getting everything ready for spring and summer. The big task so far was trimming back our three butterfly bushes. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but basically we take 6-7 foot tall bushes and trim them down to 12 inches tall. The hassle does always pay off though - the trimming promotes vigorous blooming and keeps the bushes from taking over the sidewalk in front of our house. Always best to avoid having the shrubbery attack the pedestrians. More flowers = more butterflies, which is my favorite part of these bushes. We also trimmed some low branches from the curly willow in the backyard and attempted to do some shaping of the fig trees.
Next up: planting the new irises and daylilies we bought at the Lawn & Garden Show, getting the raised beds ready for the vegetable garden, and coping with the hazardous blackberry jungle in the backyard.
Of course, after I took the picture of the daffodil, a snowstorm moved through and we looked like this for all of 48 hours:
Things are all back to normal now. We were in the 70's Wednesday and Thursday - blissful weather (although we've got rain moving through now and it's supposed to get colder after that - ahhhhh March).
Okay, and just to follow up on the whole exam thing (where I was away for a week or two because I was working on my qualifying exam). I didn't pass, but I didn't fail either. I've got two more essays to write, one more meeting, and then am hoping to be done. So. Freaking. Sick. Of. School. I kind of feel like every time I actually get some momentum going, I hit a brick wall. And I really can't even vent about the parts of it that make me the most upset here, but trust me - Tim has been an even more patient listener than usual. Time until vacation: 3 weeks (thank god - the only thing that would make me happier is if we were leaving tomorrow).
The good news? We actually found a room at a traditional inn in Kyoto. This is kind of funny - we're going to Japan at this time of year because it's cherry blossom season and sort of missed the idea that, uh... everyone else knows it's cherry blossom season too (including the people who actually live in Japan). It was a bit dicey tracking down a room in Kyoto but Tim managed to find a traditional inn that looks fairly nice. Still working on rooms in a few other towns, but now we've got lodgings for the entire first half of the trip, yeah! Will post more details on our itinerary, etc soon.