Cherry Blossoms & Blackberry Winter

Cherry blossom

Our Weeping Cherry is waking the bees from their winter slumber and tempting us into the garden. A string of warm days sends us, pell-mell, to the the garden store, for (at least) a little window shopping

And although we’re sorely tempted, year after year, to go ahead and start planting, we know that, more than likely, more cold weather’s ahead. We’ve been burned…or, I guess, frozen, by setting out plants too early then either raiding the garage for anything we can put over the tender seedlings to ward off the frost or just watching helplessly while they suffer the cruel fate I’ve subjected them to.

In our part of the the Ohio River Valley, spring is a fickle thing, teasing us with soft warm days, lulling us into a false sense of an early summer. But there always seems to be one last freeze, one last frost, that happens after we’ve put our winter woolies away.

My Grandmother called it Blackberry Winter.

That short cold snap that reminds you the earth hasn’t quite turned far enough toward the sun yet. And so we wait. And plan. And order too much from the seed catalogs.

Mother’s Day is usually safe to set out most anything–The second weekend of May is almost always sure-enough spring at our place. So that’s when we plan to plant.

The weatherman is calling for balmy temperatures this weekend. I wonder if I should just set out a few tomatoes…

Are you as anxious as we are to get out in the garden? When do you start digging?

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About Benjamin

Gardening, Raising a Family, Hobby Photography, Reading & Philosophizing...not necessarily in that order.
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36 Responses to Cherry Blossoms & Blackberry Winter

  1. Julie says:

    I’ve been tempted by the mild winter and unusually warm March to get an early start. Here in Michigan it’s wise to wait till the middle of May, but the birds are back early, and I wonder are they an indication to go for the green? Happy gardening to you.

  2. annamadeit says:

    You taught me a new expression I’d never heard before. As for the digging – heading outside tomorrow, shovel in hand! 🙂

  3. I’m anxious but we’re still dropping into the low 30’s at night. i guess I’m going to have to develop more patience. 🙂

  4. Laurie Graves says:

    Love that beautiful blossom! For central Maine, we aren’t really sure about frosts until Memorial Day.

  5. I enjoyed the Cherry Blossoms, we don’t have them here. We start spring as early as Valentine’s Day on most years. In the Fall we can put out the “summer” flowers you grow up north. They may rest some in the winter, but are now blooming. Our next season is a hot, long, humid summer and all those flowers (and tomatoes) will wilt, fry, succumb to fungus and die. Then the ones that can survive our summer will begin to bloom.

  6. Remember Nancy Reagan, Just Say No!

    • Benjamin says:

      LOL. My new mantra: “I must wait ’til May, I mist wait ’til May…” 🙂

      • My grandfather, the South Georgia peach farmer always waited until after Good Friday to plant, when living in Atlanta I always waited til 99% frost free date (May1) I wonder what he would do this year? Your lovely Cherry picture made me miss my trees!

  7. Val Boyko says:

    This is such a great time for planting shrubs and perennials. The sap is rising and they can handle a few cool nights. It feels good to get an early start with the sturdy ones before the annuals. xo

  8. bittster says:

    I’m anxious but it’s still early enough that I spend more time wandering around realizing winter is over than I spend twitching to get things planted and moved. It’s nice to soak in a little warmth and sun before getting back to work!

  9. Cathy says:

    That cherry is beautiful. And I like that expression Blackberry Winter. Our spring has been cold, although not exceptionally frosty, and planting will have to wait a while here too. Happy Easter Ben!

  10. Oh you made me smile .. good to know I’m not the only one that buys too many seeds. It won’t be long now and you will be digging away to your heart’s content. That blossom sure is pretty

  11. Chloris says:

    We call it a ‘Blackthorn Winter’ when the Prunus spinosa is in bloom but we can still have nasty frosts. I dig all year round, but here you have to wait until mid May to plant out tender plants.

    • Benjamin says:

      I like the sound of Blackthorn Winter, too! We’re moving a couple of perennials but are doing our best to hold off for a few more weeks before planting our tenders…but, oh, the temptation! 🙂

  12. It sounds like we are right there with you in terms of seasons. I WANT to plant now – but I know better. May 15th is our official day here in South Jersey – but I can never wait that long. Love, love love! this time of year.

  13. “And so we wait. And plan. And order too much from the seed catalogs.” Love this. So true, Benjamin! The anticipation is such an important part of Spring.

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