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|March Snow 2014, the ragged edges of winter|
It seems to be the only thing that I center on anymore, when my mind turns to gardening. The Weather. There were residual bits of snow scattered around the yard today, and more ice and snow predicted for the next couple days. Lots of people talk about how tired they are of winter and this weather… I guess I am either more philosophical about it or just old, but the weather doesn’t bother me.
Not until I think about gardening.
I just stop thinking about it, because it is too cold and the ground is frozen. Perhaps that is where the saying “it just stops me cold” came from? If not, a good use of the phrase. That is what thermometer readings of single digits and below do: they stop my ideas of gardening…cold.
Maybe it is from the the years of observing the signs of the weather, or it might have something to do with raising ten children, but I think in terms of seasons. I want to live in the present season of what life has to offer… not looking for summer blooms in March, or a child’s walking when they have not yet crawled.
I wasn’t always this way. No, I can remember habitually wanting to hurry on to the next thing.
I often have less of something because of this perspective, but I enjoy it more. It’s a tradeoff. Yet, I found little answer to the question “What is the hurry for?”
Now, as protracted as this winter has been, as harsh and cold, and unforgiving, I am waiting it out; and do like seeing the snow, since fresh snowfall never ceases to be pretty in my eyes, there’s a wonder to it.
There is something of a negative to this patience for spring’s arrival, though. As happy as I might be that the stink bug population is expected to have been decimated, I am concerned that some of my plants will not have survived such frigid temperatures. I don’t wish to face the exposed reality if these fears are well founded. Do you ever dread such losses?
What Do I Fear Losing?
|Lavender, Did it make it through this winter?|
- The Lavender Walk has suffered before, and that is my greatest concern. Lavender is marginally hardy in my garden winters, and while the plants are not difficult or especially expensive to replace, they do take a year just to grow into the size that makes a “hedge”.
- What is left of my roses might be lost. I haven’t covered them for years, but this year I may rue the fact.
- The new perennials, which hadn’t yet rooted in sufficiently or were not hardy enough for the effects of the polar vortex.
|The lavender was replanted before.|
Two habits from recent years seem worth repeating in the coming season: planting colorful containers, and concentrating on a few garden beds.
Our gardening changes with the turn our lives take. Mine, as I’ve gotten older has taken me away from the garden. It must now be smaller and easier to care for, it must not get over ambitious in the inflated ego of spring. Otherwise I am left with overwhelming troops of weeds, and burdensome tasks.
Not to be overly dramatic about it, but some broken dreams get thrown in there if I thought I would plant the perennial borders of my past along with a riot of annuals, and a burgeoning vegetable patch.
In every garden, the keeper of it must decide what it means to them, what is important and what isn’t. It is a constant culling of priorities as well as planting of new ones. If we work to exhaustion, it ought to be a happy exhaustion, because we loved doing it.
The letting go ought to be just as deliberate, and happy. Is this what a contentment consists of? I feel like it is. Making peace with oneself, the weather, and what one can do. For me, that is one of the greatest lessons of my garden.