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Early Risers

Don’t just wait for spring. Do something about it.



Got a mean case of cabin fever? If spring’s arrival right around the corner isn’t soon enough for you, there is a solution. All you need is a trowel, some thawed soil, a few minutes, and you could be crouching on the ground staring snowdrops in the face. 

These seemingly delicate white flowers forge ahead when the rest of nature is still under the covers. Custom-made for arriving precociously early, snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are fitted with leaves that have sharp, sturdy blades for piercing through the snow. They quickly produce nodding flowers that dangle down to protect their reproductive parts from snow and wind, and the petals flare open or fold closed depending on the temperature. Even if a snowstorm dumps a blanket of snow on them, they’re usually fine.

Best of all, you can rustle some snowdrops for your own garden as soon as they appear. Unlike most bulbs, snowdrops prefer transplanting while they are green and growing. Cozy up to a generous friend with a few extra clusters of snowdrops, and be thankful that you’re spreading the wealth. When you dig the cluster, keep in mind that those tiny bulbs have deep roots.

Find a shady location to relocate your small blizzard-busters where the snow melts early and you walk frequently (situating a colony on the path to the garage will make your morning commute more scenic). Granted, the flowers are tiny, but every little bit helps. 

Other spring bulbs follow fast on snowdrops’ heels. From the earliest crocus to bright sailor-blue scillas and carnival-colored hyacinths, spring bulbs flower with the robins’ return. Planning ahead will be necessary as most spring bulbs must be planted in autumn or early winter because they require a period of cold. Get those scillas and hyacinths installed in fall, and you’ll reap the benefits when you really need a lift after the dog days of winter. 

Daffodils are famous for breezing in early, too. You can push their appearance by selecting dwarf types such as ‘Tête-à-Tête’ or ‘Jetfire.’ Not fond of school-bus yellow? Try white and butter-yellow ‘Toto,’ ‘February Silver,’ and ‘Topolino.’ Or plant early tulips, spraying the sprouts and flower buds as they emerge with deer repellent, and you will be wallowing in a rainbow of color by mid-April.

Where would we be without hellebores? In a snowless winter, they can begin their flowering performance mid-season, producing clusters of rose-like blossoms in cream, green, and burgundy. Cut last year’s weather-beaten foliage back as the buds begin to emerge, and the flowers that follow will stop traffic. In my town, my hellebore collection is the delight of local dog walkers. A handful of hellebores in late February are worth a whole garden filled with flowers later on.

Primroses are impetuous, especially the drumstick types (Primula denticulata). They come and go fairly quickly, but there’s nothing like these little balls of magenta or purple annuals, available even at grocery stores, to perk up a garden at the last minute. Ditto for Icelandic poppies (Papaver nudicaule), the difference being that these flamboyant orange, white, yellow or red blooms are perennial. Best of all, they keep right on sending up the buds throughout summer. In my experience, Icelandic poppies don’t perennialize well, but a full season of performance from a meager investment isn’t bad, right? 

More fleeting but indispensable when you need them most are pasque flowers (Pulsatilla vernalis and P. vulgaris). They come up like a shot with rosettes of fuzzy, parsley-like leaves and open relatively large-sized, star-like flowers of bluish purple with orange centers—the Easter flower. The blooms come and go in a snap, but the seed heads that linger are like silken plumes. After winter, even a brief blast of color is welcome.

Lungworts produce a sustained show. The moment after the snow melts, they begin sending up their handsome, speckled, ground-hugging leaves, but that’s just the start. Buds follow immediately, opening to periwinkle-blue blossoms that linger over the long haul.

Get ye to a nursery, purchase some plants, pop them in the ground the moment that inserting a trowel is possible, and you will be surrounded by the majesty of this low-growing stalwart from spring’s blossoms into late summer. In my garden, the speckled leaves remain evergreen until they are smothered in snow. 

Add a background of forsythias, some of the most persistent shrubs of all, and your world will be bathed in golden yellows. Unlike magnolias, they can take a late frost or two without batting an eyelash. We need that sort of courage in spring. So do your part and get planting!

 

 

 

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September 2017

The 30th Annual Bigelow Tea, 5K Run, 2 Mile Fitness Walk and Kid's Fun Run will take place at Wakeman Boys & Girls Club, Southport on Sunday, September 24, 2017 from 9:00 to noon,...

Cost: $10, $15, $25

Where:
BTCC @ Wakeman Boys & Girls Club
385 Center Street
Southport, CT  06890
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Sponsor: Bigelow Tea
Telephone: 203-330-2530
Contact Name: Elaine Gavoli
Website »

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The Somers Women's Club, a not-for-profit community service organization, will hold its major fundraiser on Sunday, September 24, 2017 at Reis Park on Route 139 in Somers. There will be a...

Cost: free

Where:
Reis Park
182 Primrose St
Katonah, NY  10536
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Sponsor: Somers Womens Club
Telephone: 914-302-7231
Contact Name: Beth Ryzyk
Website »

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The Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce and the Connecticut Giant Pumpkin Growers Club will host the 5th Annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off on Sunday, September 24, 2017 from 10 am to 3 pm in Ballard Park,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ballard Park
Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-438-5992
Contact Name: Jen Mulhern
Website »

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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

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The WCSU Alumni Association will host The Neil Wagner Golf Outing with a 10 a.m. shotgun start at the Richter Park Golf Club, 100 Aunt Hack Road in Danbury. Proceeds from the annual event will...

Cost: $175

Where:
Richter Park Golf Club
100 Aunt Hack Road
Danbury, CT  06810
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Website »

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Painter Stanley Lewis will discuss his work at 11 a.m. in Room 144 of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. The event will...

Cost: Free

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

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Presented by Louise Baranger Moffly Media Evening of Art, Wine & Jazz Series Classic pop hits from the 60s and 70s with a dash of jazz.  Come dance, sing and groove with us! Ticket...

Cost: $39.50

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

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193 Danbury Road, Ridgefield; 203-431-7000. founders-hall.org SEPT 27 @ 6 PM.  Wine, Cheese & Accessories, a Ladies Night Out; a fun evening of fine wine, food, fellowship,...

Cost: $20

Where:
Founders Hall
193 Danbury Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Founders Hall
Telephone: 203-431-7000
Contact Name: Laurie Christiansen
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Does speaking before a group make you totally anxiety ridden?  Whether for business or volunteer work, Whether you have to speak in front of large groups for work or you have a big event...

Cost: $240

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Website »

More information

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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

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In this day of watered down comedy, Nick Di Paolo’s brutally honest performances remind us of what great stand up should be: funny, socially relevant and a little bit reckless. With Boston...

Cost: $35

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Barts Tree Service Comedy Series
Website »

More information

In this day of watered down comedy, Nick Di Paolo’s brutally honest performances remind us of what great stand up should be: funny, socially relevant and a little bit reckless. With Boston...

Cost: $35

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Barts Tree Service Comedy Series
Website »

More information

WCSU will present the "Best Darn Jazz Club in Danbury" at 8 p.m. in the Colonial Corner in the Student Center on the university's Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Admission...

Cost: Free

Where:
WCSU Midtown Campus
181 White Street
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

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Larry Gatlin is the oldest of the three Gatlin brothers. By age seven, he was already accompanying younger brothers, Steve and Rudy in signing at family and church events.  On the strength of...

Cost: $37.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Mountain Dew Country & Bluegrass Series
Website »

More information

Larry Gatlin is the oldest of the three Gatlin brothers. By age seven, he was already accompanying younger brothers, Steve and Rudy in singing at family and church events....

Cost: $37.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

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