Oops - here was a draft of a post from Spring 2010 that didn't make it out of draft stage, for some reason. I thought it would be fun to post it now - just thinking of things to come (wishfully thinking, I might add)
Draft from March 24, 2010:
Of course, spring in Minnesota means crazy temps. Last week we had 60 degrees, and today it's barely above freezing. The daffodils have about an inch of stem peeking up out of the ground. Rhubarb is actually making an appearance, as are some of my asiatic lilies. I'm just hoping it really hits 70 degrees next week as is currently forecast. Wouldn't that make a nice spring break.
There is still a lot of raking to do in the lawn. As I was out there today (freezing, I might add!), I was thinking about how to expand the shade garden by the road. I read a great article about martagon lilies in Northern Gardener this month. Too bad they're hard to find and take even longer to come to bloom. But in ten years I'll have wished I had taken the time to plant some now. It seems from my little research that they're fall planting bulbs. I would love to connect with some Minnesota gardeners who have had success with these flowers.
The good news is that I actually DID plant six martagon bulbs this past fall. Now I know why I don't see them in gardens, they were expensive! I had a strange, guilty feeling spending $30 on a flower bulb. But why not? It's a small indulgence... other people have their expensive vices... I don't smoke, gamble, travel, shop, or even drink all that often (which I type as I'm enjoying a nice bottle, I mean glass, of wine). So what's $30 to add a touch of beauty to our yard? Well, $30 times six, and you get the picture. So this small indulgence was a little more than small, but I'm not at all regretting the purchase. Unless, of course, the bulbs never produce. That's the thing about martagons - I understand that they take years to flower. But we could all use a lesson in delayed gratification in our culture of instant pleasure. I just had to spend $180 to learn the lesson. Isn't it ironic?