Greening Up? Maybe Not, But It Is Thawing

Saturday I had lunch with my friend Jane, a fellow gardener and Plot Against Hunger volunteer. It was sunny, 50 degrees, and the snow was starting to melt. We talked, among other things, about our garden plans. I mentioned that I might have to revise mine. The cold winter has meant certain things are going in late–peas and spinach, for example–and if it gets hot in May, the spinach bolts and the peas wither.

Daffodils are coming up in the small Plot garden.

Daffodils are coming up in the small Plot garden.

Jane said, “We could plant next weekend. It’s supposed to be 50 degrees all week.” Hmmm….I hightailed it over to the garden today to see whether this might be possible. I had to go anyway, because I needed to open the cold frame unless I wanted to bake the greens in the suddenly balmy temperatures.

There was some fine looking arugula in the cold frame.

There was some fine looking arugula in the cold frame.

Because we did such a good job in the fall, the Plot gardens don’t need much prep, so if it’s warm and dry, we might be able to get our hands in the dirt.

Okay, so some snow needs to melt.

Okay, so some snow needs to melt.

Having established dirt digging might be imminent, I took myself off today on a walk down to Key Bridge for a look at the frozen river. I can’t remember the last time the Potomac froze and I wanted to document it.

This is a view west, toward Great Falls.

This is a view west, toward Great Falls.

The walk down to the river was accompanied by the sound of snow melt. Everywhere there was running water. Once I’d seen the river from Key Bridge, I headed for Roosevelt Island. Me and a couple hundred other walkers, bikers, and people in vehicles. So many people were out because they could be, and the sun was out, and it was warm.

Were people desperate or what?  Look at that parking lot!

Were people desperate or what? Look at that parking lot!

Once I got home, I thought of Dave Mallett’s song Greenin’ Up, found it on my iPod and blasted it through the house. Every spring this song is my anthem. I can remember my father using the expression “it’s greening up real good,” so when I first heard the song, it was completely familiar. Inspired by the Contented Crafter’s recent tour of Italian opera, I have linked to a video of Mallett singing the song (full disclosure: Mallett wrote The Garden Song, which you might know because even the Muppets recorded it, and of course, anyone who sings about gardening is okay by me).

That arugula from the cold frame?  In the sandwich!

That arugula from the cold frame? In the sandwich!

So, maybe it’s not actually greening up yet, but it’s thawing. And the sun is out. And it smells like spring. More to come!

Soon the river will thaw and the docks of the Washington Canoe Club will be crowded with rowers and paddlers.

Soon the river will thaw and the docks of the Washington Canoe Club will be crowded with rowers and paddlers.

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11 Responses to Greening Up? Maybe Not, But It Is Thawing

  1. I do hope the greening up progresses at a good pace! I enjoyed the song – something and someone I have never come across before. I cannot begin to imagine how cold it must have been for that large river to freeze, I wonder if this is to be your new ‘normal’. And isn’t it wonderful how that little frame allowed you to have arugula in your sandwich despite the snow! Thank you for the ping back 🙂 . 50F is still quite cool isn’t it – I am coming from 20 – 25C. Guess I’d better bring some woollies 🙂

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  2. Anne Wheaton says:

    Impressive frozen river. If we have snow on the ground then I just write off gardening so obviously I am just a wuss! My first seeds have gone into the propagator inside and I hope that a few days of warm sunshine will mean I can sow outside next weekend.

    Like

  3. KerryCan says:

    This is such a nice, forward-looking post! The sound of melting and the smell of “greening up” and the taste of fresh arugula! I love Dave Mallett–I’m just an old folkie at heart.

    Like

  4. I probably shouldn’t say this, but your snow does look rather lovely. But I understand if you’re a bit sick of waiting to plant out the first veg of spring. Hope you get lots more sunny, springlike weather.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. starkwe says:

    I can’t believe the Potomac is frozen in March!

    Like

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