It’s still pretty grey in Portland in late February, but a careful eye in the garden shows signs of spring at every turn. Here are some promises of spring I am noticing in the garden.


Quince buds

Our flowering quince shrubs have buds at the brink of opening. Quince will mostly set fruit on woody stems developed in the previous year. As much as I love indoor cut flowers, I won’t risk missing out on fruit by sacrificing a stem of flowers for indoor enjoyment. Instead, they will bloom naturally outside while I hover over them waiting for signs of fruit setting.

Aronia leaves emerging

Aronia leaves emerging

The aronia has matured into a small, graceful shrub. Mid-spring will bring white flowers followed by dark berries in late summer. It puts on a spectacular show in the fall when the leaves turn scarlet. Right now it’s hinting at spring with it’s bright new leaves emerging.

Counting my apricots before the buds have even opened

Counting my apricots before the buds have even opened

Apricots, along with plums and cherries, are early spring bloomers that put on a spectacular show. Every day the buds swell just a bit bigger. I did my last round of spraying with an organic copper treatment to protect it from blight. There should be a massive harvest this year and I can hardly wait!

My "river" of blue irises in the front garden

My “river” of blue irises in the front garden

I rearranged the front garden this winter with propogated plants. The irises are already off to a running start and I will be sure to post pictures throughout the season. Right now the newly cut and dividing plants are too small to really notice. But get ready – with wet weather and a few weeks of sun it will explode with life.

Do you have plants already putting on a spring show? How is your garden telling you spring is near?

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Written by Renee Wilkinson