The grass could be seen again and unlike last year the voles (a type of field mouse) had not created little vole tunnels under the snow through the lawn or gnawed on my evergreen ground cover. In fact, the lawn had come through the winter quite unharmed. These brown green blades of grass do not show the promise of a lush green lawn yet as they are not actively growing. However, in a few weeks when the forsythia is in bloom it will be time for the first feeding of lawns to get them off to a good start.
Meanwhile the ice on the back pond had melted completely and after a three week hiatus I was able to turn the pump for the waterfall on again. The secondary pump to keep a hole in the ice open has now been turned off and put away. While we undoubtedly will have frost again between now and the end of April, early to mid May, there is no more danger of the pond freezing over completely. As a matter of fact, I would not be surprised to see a frog or two in the front pond in the next few weeks as the temperatures inch up. The koi, my wet pets, also came through the winter unscathed and they can be observed slowly swimming around and grazing on the sides of the pond in search of some food. However I will hold off feeding them until the water temperature reaches 50 degrees and their need for food increases.
Just as spring was around the corner and the first snowdrops were ready to bloom, a three inch layer of snow delayed the first flowers. But, true to their name, no sooner had the snow receded and the flowers opened up. Finally, on March 23rd the first flowers of the 2015 growing season could be seen. The crocuses and Dutch irises cannot be far behind while the daffodils are in a race to catch up (or at least I like to think so).
Meanwhile on the very first nice day of spring I tackled some chores in the back yard. Last year’s leaves on the Hellebores plants were tattered and needed to be cut back to the base of the plant. This job requires patience since the buds have started to push up and it is easy to accidentally remove stems with buds together with tattered leaves. With many Hellebores plants scattered throughout the garden, this job takes a few hours. Now the wait is on for the buds to rise up and unfurl. Soon my mostly brown (mulched) back yard will break out in color again and it will not come one minute too soon for this gardener!