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Awaiting Spring

by Beth Barrett

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten Rose)

Our recent snow flurries and nighttime freezing temperatures might feel like spring is a distant hope. The calendar teases us by announcing that spring officially begins in two weeks. We feel the warmth of a sunny afternoon day but awake to a covering of hard frost on the ground. As you look about, daffodils and early spring bulbs are defiantly poking up through the cold ground. Hope is enlarged as we wait, and the new season will come again, regardless of how slow this year. 

In the meantime, garden chores can still be done, such as sowing hardy annuals, planting bare-root shrubs and roses, and pruning ornamental grasses, garden roses, trees, and clematis before any new growth appears. There are many tasks to do before spring’s burst of activity begins. So bundle up, head outside, and enjoy the evidence of new life in your garden!

Here are other activities to consider as you await spring:

Apply for a community garden plot. Burien’s Community Garden Program (B-Patch) is open to all city residents 18 years and older. Participating in the community garden will provide you with a space to cultivate your flowers and vegetables and allow you to be part of a garden community.

  • Garden plots for new gardeners will be open to the Burien community starting the second Monday in March. New garden applicants must complete the application and return payment no later than the last business day in March.
  • Gardeners must attend the orientation meeting held at the community garden on the first Wednesday in April at 6 pm.

Shop at Tilth Alliance’s March Edible Plant Sale for a variety of locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and garden supplies. The sale is at Rainier Beach Urban Farm on Saturday, March 18th, from 9 am to 3 pm. See tilthalliance.org for details. 

Visit the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way. The expansive gardens showcasing an extensive collection of rhododendrons grown worldwide are open Tuesday through Sunday. Early spring is the ideal time to visit and enjoy the peak blooms. Check out more details at rhodygarden.org.

Complimentary passes to RSBG are available through the King County Library System. Due to the high demand, go to kcls.org to reserve passes online well before your trip.  

Happy Gardening,


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