Spring 2015

Spring came early this year. As of April 4, we had barely even had a light frost night for a month. Pretty crazy because the last frost date is actually May 15 and I have known plants to freeze on May 23.


The first week of April brought amazing blooming plum trees, the start of amazing crabapple, and abundant full bloom daffodils. One of my clients told me that her daffodils were five days early. That’s not too crazy. Leaves are all over the apple trees. Apricots in downtown Santa Fe are in full bloom already. As one gardener told me “This could make for an interesting season.” That is the way it is, always different. As soon as you know what to predict, things change. I for one,, am looking forward to some fruit. Will the evil frost come? Ever year we play a game with the weather, every year we try to keep our hopes low, but in our heart they are always high. Who wouldn’t want everyone to be blessed with amazing tree fruit such as apples, peaches and apricots?

The bulbs that we put in in the fall came up and are winding down, leaving room for new perennials to come in. Never under estimate the power of daffodils. They multiply and create great clumps of yellow and white when nothing else would be there yet. I am beginning to see from my good friend catmint, the heartiest of all perennials, with it’s purple blooms contrasting nicely with the yellow daffodils in warm sunny spots, almost as if singing “here is a taste of what’s to come-gardening season!”

It’s funny being a parent and watching my kids cycle through the school years. As I watch spring come in in April every year, I also watch the school years wind down. So as the plants come in every day, starting their new chapter, each day my sons get one day close to closing a certain chapter of their odyssey of growing up. I always marvel at the beginnings and ends being in such contrast, as if to remind us that ends are new beginnings and we better keep planning.

And the teases of spring, when we finally trust in and finally relax, cycles of cold come in to set us back. We look to ourselves for patience and hopes.

April 17, 2015 and the morning was 28 degrees. That night, my almost full bloom apple trees braved the cold like the champions that they are. Whether there will be apples or not, we will have to wait and see. After the past two springs of late frosts ruining the blossoms and thus denying us of our lovely fall crop, I employed two measures. One was to put Christmas lights on some of the branches for a little warmth. Will that work? Well, I’ve had mixed reports but my guess is probably not, but it seemed worth a shot. Last night I braved the other technique, which is that I sprayed the leaves and blossoms down with water really well. The idea is that the ice freezes and insulates the blossoms. What happened in the morning? Apple leaves and blossoms encased in a layer of ice.

Monday, April 20th. The apple flowers are partly looking like dirty laundry and partly look ok. Who knows? Was it the lights? Are the bad parts the dryer or wetter parts? Did the spraying do the damage? I don’t think so because the little leaves on my big ash tree completely froze and shriveled up., and they didn’t get sprayed. Is my cherry tree going to fruit? Those flowers look spent too, but then again they might be done for the season.

And Tuesday, April 28, another below freezing night, and the trees march on, holding on to what flowers they can. As the glory of the flowering trees fades, we have so much to look forward to as we see what the spring has to offer as it turns to summer, apple or not, I will report back.