Cold nights-warm days are what April is all about. For the first half of the month, night and early morning temperatures will dip into the low to middle 30s. Highs will be anywhere from low 50s to a chance of 70 degrees.
From the 16th to the end of April will see daytime temps of 60s to 70s with a chance of a day or two of almost 80 degrees. Still, the nights will be cool with low 40s. Rain should be significant on at least half a dozen days. By this time all trees and plants that did not see major damage during March’s late freeze will be leafing out and blooming in protected areas.
Full moon is April 11. Ancients called it the Pink Moon as they witnessed much of those wild flowering plants put forth blossoms. Especially appreciated was the pink blooming wild ground phlox or moss pink. It is one of spring’s earliest flowers, being a food source for deer, rabbits and ground hogs.
Other names for this most welcome moon are Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, Fish Moon and Wild Goose Moon. Today we might call it Tulip Moon or Garden Moon as all thoughts by now are of colorful blooms and filling the garden plot with seed.
April officially begins Mr. Greengate’s fishing endeavors. Frequent trips to the bait shop to analyze websites, maps and local fishing buddy’s advice make for anxious days before he can get out on the water. All in all, he’s normally a calm sort of person. But when warm air stirs his favorite lake water and the smell of wet soil bringing up worms hits him on warm, sunny wet days, he is an elderly bundle of nerves. The most support he gets is an admonishment to wrap up warmly and take the picnic basket of sandwiches and hot coffee prepared for his day out.
Gardening is beginning in earnest. The old saying comes to mind: Dew at Dawn/Dry at Dusk. We’ll be planting in late afternoon and evening. Besides the usual, we’re experimenting with a root end of celery and some small potato eyes that may or may not turn out to be viable. Another plant on our wish list is artichokes. Never having seen one growing, it will be an eye-opener no matter how it turns out. A gardener must take some things on faith, trusting that the plant wants to grow as much as the human wants to see it grow. We also plan on harvesting some of the Red Bud tree seed pods, said to be similar to sugar snap peas. Of course, the fisherman will know nothing of this until the cook has taste-tested and decided she might just get them past him, if she melts enough butter on them.
Outside the Yard
Butterflies are always greeted with smiles and oohs and ahhs. A Butterfly Show at Krohn Conservatory is planned for April through June. Times are 10 am-5pm daily. Adults-$7.
Seniors-$6. Kids (ages 5-17)-$4. Located at 1501 Eden Park Drive in Cincinnati, Ohio, call 513-421-5707 for more information. This program provides an up close look at a large collection of live butterflies.
If you’re looking for flower garden inspiration then you might want to check out spring at a mansion. April 8, 2017 will see a Spring Awakening at 847 Adena Road in Chillicothe, Ohio. The Adena Mansion and Gardens will be open for tours. The mansion is an historic, 19th century home with five outbuildings, 300 acres of gardens. Call 740-772-1500 for more information and directions. Cost is Adult-$10. Senior-$9. Child (ages 6-12) $5.
Looking for family fun in the great outdoors? The Mohican Wildlife Weekend will take place April 28-30, 2017. Call 1-800-642-8282 for complete information and locations of the eight program sites. Workshops and demonstrations are planned for all age levels. Birds, bats, fly-fishing, wildlife habitats, birding boat tours, photography, wagon tours. Online source is www.mohicanwildlifeweekend.com
Word of the Month
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: Extraordinarily good, wonderful, fantastic. April holds some of the most supercalifragilisticexpialidocious days of the year. Popularized by 1964 movie Mary Poppins.
Quote of the Month
“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.” Ruth Stout, American author, gardener. 1884-1980