Monday, February 29, 2016

Winter Winding Down

I've sure enjoyed this mild winter. Well, enjoyed might be an overstatement. I'm still not a fan of winter, but this one was more tolerable than usual. We only had a few light snows, and mostly mild temperatures. But the best part of a mild winter is that it's usually followed by an early spring. Usually I have to rush spring by forcing amaryllis bulbs in the kitchen.

And don't we all buy those grocery store primroses at the end of winter? Mine will be planted out once they fade, and they do return reliably for me.

But the very, very start of the spring garden season is not a flower at all. Late winter is when sedum Angelina really shines. While it's a lovely chartreuse green all summer long, this time of year it comes in all shades of yellow, orange and red. Just when the rest of the world is drab and bland, this ground cover can give your garden much needed pizazz. It spreads quickly, but is never invasive.

Hellebores start off the garden season for many, but not for me. My hellebores are early, but they aren't the first to show up. They usually bloom in March, even though the buds form long before that.

Now many people might think that snowdrops are the first flower of the year. Maybe they are at your house, but not here. I really should plant more of these. This little guy is the lone snowdrop found. I've heard others say they spread like crazy, but that hasn't been true for me.

Maybe crocus is the first flower to bloom at your house? Not for me. I did see a lawn full of crocus today, and it really made my heart swell. Maybe someday I'll be ambitious enough to try planting a lawn full of crocus. But in the meantime, I'll enjoy my own spring favorite. The first to bloom at my house is always iris reticulata Harmony. It's such a gorgeous periwinkle blue, but the reason that I love it so is simply because it's the first flower to bloom after a long, cold winter.

It was so warm and pleasant here today that I was able to finish up the winter cleanup outside. I don't think I've ever been able to complete that task in February. It was at the end of this chore that I found this cute little iris. I think it was my reward for a job well done.

EDIT---No word yet on our possible change of venue, except that it's highly likely that we'll be able to stay here after all. Nothing certain yet, but should be soon.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


It's a very white and wintery day out there. There's fresh snow cover, and the sky is white with clouds. In my last post, I said that the mild spell was over, and real winter had arrived. This is still correct. I also said that I was busy dreaming about my upcoming garden year. Well, this hasn't turned out to be true.
You see, there have been some changes around here. We've had a monkey wrench thrown into our lives, and we may not still be in this home come summer. All is uncertain at this point.

Will I even be here to see my tulips bloom? Or will I need to start a new garden somewhere else?

If I had my druthers, I'd choose to stay here. I've worked hard to make this garden come alive. The entire yard was a blank slate when we moved in. Now the garden is getting to a point where it needs less care. The plants are filling in, leaving less room for weeds.

There are many favorite plants to see bloom, many favorite spots to enjoy.

I finally have that patio that I've wanted for so many years. It's become a place to sit and watch the world go by. It's a place to see the birds, bees, and butterflies that visit here. It's a place to rest from my labors.

But if I end up elsewhere, I'll just do it all again. A new home must have a place to garden. Others have suggested that we think about a condo, but I'm balking at that suggestion. I'm not ready to give up gardening, especially since the knee replacement is healing so well.

I try to remember that I had all these same feelings about moving here. I didn't want to make a new garden, or make new friends. But I did it anyway, and it turned out wonderfully. We've been very happy here, but I know I'll also be happy elsewhere.
But please let me see my tulips bloom! I don't even remember which ones we planted, so I'd better stick around to check.