Spring in New Hampshire is a beautiful, welcome sight after the cold, dreary dark of winter. With even our cities surrounded in wilderness, the warming weather heralds the return of the green as far as the eye can see. Trees begin budding, the grass pokes up from last year’s dead growth, and early spring flowers are quick to bloom. Purple crocus, yellow daffodils, and white snowdrop are often in colorful abundance.
However, this is New Hampshire. Though the sun is shining more and the weather becomes milder with every passing week, the mossy green rug of spring can be pulled right out from under our unsuspecting feet in mere moments.
For instance, as I write this, southern New Hampshire is being threatened with two inches of snow, after just having a weekend of 70° weather. We New Englanders have a saying, “if you don’t like the weather here, wait five minutes.” It’s not entirely hyperbole!
Spring in New Hampshire has a few other surprises in store for newcomers, from the traffic brought on by the continuation of construction, to the tire-sucking mud pits our back roads can become. Here are a few tips to help you get through a New England springtime, and enjoy yourself while you’re at it!
Tricky Weather and Early Planting
Many of us are desperate to get planting after the snow melts and the weather warms up, even if it’s just a flower box hanging off an apartment window. It doesn’t help that our last few springs have begun early, with record high temperatures to match. The local greenhouses are quick to offer flowers, herbs, and vegetable plants to put into the ground as quickly as possible, too, tempting us with pretty, bright blooms.
However, this can be a gardener’s folly, as New Hampshire’s fickle weather continues to demonstrate. Frosts and snow can be the instant ruin of an early garden, sending you crawling back to buy replacement plants, and thus waste time and money. Have patience, and remember the old rule of waiting until Memorial Day weekend to start your garden.
Be Ready for Muddy Forays and Traffic Delays
With spring comes thaw and rain aplenty. New Hampshire is known for having many an unpaved road, especially in the more rural towns. This can cause perilously deep pot holes, mud pits, and crumbling ditches. Some roads are so bad off that they become washed out by spring flooding. Keep an eye out for these pitfalls as you drive, particularly after a hard rain. Mudding season can be a blast for those who enjoy the sport, but your sedan or hatchback won’t appreciate it!
Spring in New Hampshire also hails the return of road construction. In a state where frost heaves continuously deteriorate both our paved and unpaved roads, a lot of construction work takes place in the early spring months. If you’re in the middle of planning a move to New Hampshire, you may want to drive the route a few days before the big move to make sure it’s clear and there are no unexpected detours. If the drive is too far, consider contacting the U.S. Department of Transportation, or visiting their National Traffic and Road Closure site.
Spring in New Hampshire is Fun–No, Really!
Despite all of the concerns of a New Hampshire spring, there is a lot of joy and fun to be found. Maple sugaring season is a big event in New England, and New Hampshire in particular has a plethora of sugarhouses who welcome visitors to come and view the process–and enjoy some tasty maple treats, like sugar-on-snow!
If you’re interested in flower-viewing, local orchards often welcome visitors to come see their trees as they bloom, usually within the first two weeks of May. New Hampshire also boasts many flower festivals, such as Franconia’s month-long celebration of lupine flowers starting in early June.
There are more events to enjoy in New Hampshire, including 5k foot and bike races, music festivals, and renaissance fairs. Whether you’re moving to our lovely state, or just visiting, consider checking out all that spring in New Hampshire has to offer!