An early spring

This part of Wisconsin might be considered zone 5 but we have much different weather than many other zone 5 locations. Because I live about 500 feet from the Lake Michigan shoreline, my garden experiences a pretty specific microclimate. The water temperature in the lake is just slightly above 40 degrees right now. That means unless the breeze blows from the west, the air temperature is going to have a hard time rising much above the temperature of the giant refrigerator just yards away.

That all means that we don't usually get much of a spring here. Usually all of a sudden one day in June we have summer. On the flip side of that is that the lake, which stays relatively warm well into fall, extends our fall season far beyond that of places just 10 miles to the west.

But we're having unusual weather this year. We are having, dare I say, spring. The bulbs are all practically jumping out of the ground, many of the perennials are showing signs of sparking back to life and Sunday, the first daffodils bloomed.

I also cut the first daffodil that blooms (Ice Follies, I think) and give it to my mom (who, like me, is usually very reluctant to cut flowers from the garden so it's kind of my way of saying to my mom, "I love you so much I'll cut the only flower in my garden"). The past few years I've given it to her for her birthday on April 21. This year I gave it to her for Easter.

I'll have to wait for the rest of the daffodils to show their faces. My first-blooming daffs are planted in a small bed alongside the house that is easily a zone or more warmer, and they are the only daffs in that bed. The rest of the bulbs there are tulips because it is the only safe place on the property to put a tulip (the deer will not cross the patio to come nibble on them). Still, I'm so enjoying this little, unexpected taste of spring.


  1. We don't have anything up like that yet.
    Say, did you know that if you put a bar of Ivory soap on the ground or tie it on a stick (I use old pantyhose and put the soap in there and tack it on a stick) that the deer will leave it alone. I have been doing that for years -- really works. No flowers or bushes eaten here! Deer are in our yard every night....

  2. Beth, I've heard of the soap deer deterrent (usually with Irish Spring, but good to know that Ivory works too) but I've never actually talked to someone who tried it. Great to know that you're having luck with it!


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