With the onset of winter a quiet settled onto the yard. We were able to expand the vegetable garden with the tiller, and the open ground waits patiently for some compost fertilizer and a fence. I am going stir crazy, retreating into my books for adventure and solace. I feel like I will go mad if I don’t get my hands in the dirt again. Something about occupying the mind with creativity in the form of petal colors and vibrant spring greens is making me miss the outdoors.
We’ve had a confusing mixture of weather here with temperatures dipping into the 20s only to pop back up to 70 degrees the week before Christmas. This morning it snowed. This sway of weather patterns leaves the plants confused. The birdbath is frozen solid and yet all of the new allium varieties I planted in the fall are starting to sprout. We had a little pep talk the other day where I sternly told them they must stay put until spring. We’ll see.
Even the hidcote lavender has perked up considerably since I transplanted it in the fall. I honestly have no idea what to do with this stuff! One plant was blooming beautifully, the other four were waning, so I moved them to a sunnier spot. This one took off and is quite lush, yet the other three look like they are still trying to get their feet beneath them. Perhaps this year I’ll learn the secret, but right now I’ll enjoy the evergreen loveliness of this pretty plant.
Garlic!!! The hardneck garlic planted in November looks fabulous. The bird netting has kept the squirrels from rooting around in there like a bunch of maniacal little coal miners. What a wreck they make of things! This year I was able to outsmart them from digging up my newly planted bulbs by covering the areas with fallen leaves. Such a relief since they got half my tulips last year!
The Christmas lights have been taken down, the tree lays on the curb like a fallen soldier. What a pretty tree it was this year. The house felt especially cozy with the warmth of the white lights. But nature still celebrates with colors that will last till spring. The berries on the heavenly bamboo put on quite a show and the birds appreciate the extra food. As annoying as these bushes are to prune, they really do spruce the place up in winter when everything else languishes in the cold.
I’m excited for 2014. All the main flower beds were dug last year, which means the work will be less backbreaking this summer. The vegetable garden has more space for experimentation with new varieties, and dad’s daylilies are posed to put on quite the show. As much as I dislike resolutions, I am resolved to enjoy the garden even more this year, to appreciate the beauty it brings in butterflies and birds and fragrance and food. We are hunkered down for the coldest months with long books, good friends, and warm hearts.