Garden Benefits from Refrigeration

Bouquet with Tulip 'Exotic Emperor', narcissus and one
tulip 'Miami Sunset'.
Depending on which way the wind puffs, I'm either donning or doffing my sweatshirt. And I'm sitting inside. I swear I'm hearing a fog horn but we're at least three miles from the lake. It's one of those days when Lake Michigan acts as a giant refrigerator--the old-fashioned kind that comes with plenty of frost. Even three miles away, our spring weather is governed by this huge body of water, the second largest Great Lake at approximately 118 miles wide and 303 miles long.

But you won't find me complaining while the lake temperature hovers at around 41 degrees F--a good temperature for keeping things mild yet still springlike. It's been a great year for spring bulbs, and Lake Michigan can take much of the credit. The first tulips to open, 'Exotic Emperor', are still looking good, while 'Miami Sunset' is as fresh as when it began to open a week ago. I'm glad I planted tulips last fall, even if the deer decimated a good number of them before they'd even formed flower buds.
Tulip 'Miami Sunset'
Maurice the Hammy Cat sneaks
up on the camera.

The bulbs aren't the only plants benefiting from our natural fridge. The Hellebores are as perky as ever, and Pulmonaria blossoms are providing a great blue counterpoint to the warm shades of yellow, peach and orange.


Tulip 'Analita'
 
And I've promised myself I'd actually weed the whole garden before the peonies start to bloom. It just might happen this year, as I'm governed in summer by mosquito season, which officially begins after just one day of 80 degree temps.

Tulip 'Exotic Emperor' is dramatic inside and out.
Temperatures of late are perfect for my new gardening ensemble - Garden Girl gardening pants and Muck Boots gardening shoes. I'm liking the Muck Boots for their semi-tight fit around the instep for keeping dirt out of my shoes. And no matter the temperature, I haven't felt them to be either too hot or too cold. I had a size conundrum at first, as they don't come in half sizes and I happen to wear an 8 and a half usually. I ordered a size 9 so I could wear wool socks with them in the cold weather. When they came in there was too much slippage at the heel even with heavy socks. I exchanged them for an 8, and while I can't wear heavy socks, I can easily wear thinner ones and still have a great fit.
Muck Boot shoes even look good while relaxing.

As for the Garden Girl pants, they were sent by the company for me to try, which is a good thing, because I honestly would have a hard time paying over $90 for a pair of pants to wear while crawling ab out in the mud. I'm not really sure what size I have, as it says they are roomy. I can say that, if you get the right size, they fit great, especially with the stretchy elastic panels on each side that extends from waist to upper hip. I like that the ankle cinches closed with Velcro so the legs don't get caught on things or admit the occasional creepie crawlie. There is plenty of knee room for kneeling, and they even offer removable knee pads, which are to be inserted from inside the pants. This just seems incredibly awkward, so I don't use them.


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