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March Arrives Bearing Gifts



The month of March has finally arrived…bearing gifts that many of us have been looking forward to!  High on my gift list is the return of longer days, thanks to daylight savings time.  Longer days give us more time to enjoy getting reacquainted with our favorite outdoor activities…gardening anyone?

Year after year, March consistently brings us the gift of St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th, complete with “wearin’ of the green.  Have you noticed that wearing green on St. Pat’s Day seems to appeal to lots of people whether they have Irish heritage or not?

I have Irish heritage and have been very lucky to travel around the beautiful Emerald Isle more than once.  Dare I call it the luck of the Irish?  On my second visit, I discovered that not only is Ireland beautiful…so are the hand knitted sweaters in Avoca, Co. Wicklow, Ireland!  Although Ireland has many grand castles, there is always a sense of coziness to the interiors.  Ann Rooney Heuer’s book called Irish Country is filled with photos of interiors that one would be glad to “cozy up to”.


Have you ever wondered why March is so “consistency-challenged” when it’s time to give us the gift of Easter?  Sometimes March looses the Easter battle to April.  It’s never March’s fault, and March can always blame it on the moon.  But there is good news for March this year.  March wins the battle for Easter in 2016!

It turns out that March is right to blame it on the moon when April wins Easter…however it’s complicated and the story (or stories) go way back!   According to Christiantimelines.com “The main twist involves those who wanted to celebrate Easter on the day Jesus arose, a Sunday, and those who wanted to celebrate on Passover, regardless of which day it fell during the week.”  Another online source says it is related to the differences between a lunar calendar and a solar calendar.  A Church Council was called in 325 (way back, right?).  In order to standardize the date of Easter, a decision was made to establish that Easter falls on the first Sunday, following the first full moon after the vernal equinox.  If the first full moon falls on the equinox, Easter is the following Sunday.


I like knowing how the date of Easter is determined, and really enjoy looking at a beautiful full moon, but I must admit I prefer looking at a calendar each year to learn the date of Easter! From early childhood, I have always enjoyed the religious customs of Easter, and what child (or adult child) doesn’t enjoy the custom of bunnies, and chicks, and eggs at Easter time, including candy eggs?  According to compellingtruth.org “the inclusion of rabbits and eggs…is marked by much speculation on the part of historians.”

I hope you enjoy Easter Sunday this year, on March 27th.  While the historians are busy speculating, I will be looking for jelly beans and chocolate eggs!


by Evelyn Kinville, Behnke’s Garden Blogger

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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