Winter just doesn't seem to want to let go around here. As I write this at 8 am it is 28 degrees outside. It sounds like it may warm up--finally--this weekend to the 60s, but we'll see. I just took a walkabout around the yard to see what is going on, and not much has changed in the last week. The cold has just kind of stopped everything in its tracks. My cherry tree is just beginning to show a few blooms. And this tree was in full bloom last year on March 21, according to my garden journal, as was the serviceberry, plum, redbud, and viburnum carlesii. They don't look even close to blooming yet this year. Even my azaleas were in bud last year by this time. I think last year was unusual, though, as that seems to have been the earliest yet. Even the cherry trees downtown around the Tidal Basin are late this year. They were predicting peak bloom for this week, but now they are saying Sunday through next week. Here is a link to the cherry blossom webcam if you are interested. Last year we went to see the cherry blossoms on March 19!
I keep making lists of everything I need to do outside, and it will be nice to finally get started on some of those chores. I really need to spray my peonies with fungicide, as you are supposed to spray when they are first about 6 inches. But it seems so cold to spray! They really seemed to look better last year after I had sprayed them a few times. They had much less black spot and mildewy leaves by the mid-summer. Maybe next week it will warm up and I can get started on some of those chores. We have been smelling skunk the past few nights, so I know spring is on its way. We have an unfortunate history with skunks, but so far no sign of them digging under our deck...fingers crossed.