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March 2020

February 2020

Twice a Year is Not Enough

Winter aconiteAfter many years of blogging the blogger tends to repeat herself just as Mother Nature does in the garden. That said, each season is slightly different in the garden. More rain, less rain, more sun, less sun, lots of snow, a little snow, no snow. The winter of 2020 has been a winter of no snow. It is up to the gardener to notice the subtleties of nature in the garden. This garden blogger has been lazy. Blogging twice a year is not enough. That needs to change. Starting here, starting now. Today it is warm for February, 48F currently and it is raining. The tuteur has fallen over and the birdbath tilts precariously. Here in New England the freeze and thaw of the ground is a powerful force most visible in the collapse of stone walls and the tilting of tuteurs. Tuteur on sideContainers left outside, freeze, crack and sometimes totally break. Walkways heave and pitch. Mother Nature launches some plants right out of the soil. Never a pretty sight for a gardener. Heaved rose rootsStill, the buds swell, the tiny bulbs bloom and garden tasks await. February in the New England garden can present some opportunities if the temperature is over 40F and the rain and the wind stop for a bit. It is easy to see the invasion of the bittersweet vine and brambles which can be clipped and later removed. The lawn is littered with broken branches and just tidying up brings quite a bit of satisfaction. I wouldn't call it gardening though. Is is more garden maintenance than actual gardening. Bending and stretching after a couple months of reading and relaxing remind the gardener, especially the aging gardener, that garden tasks need to be done in shorter spans of time. Purple early crocusNo more are there eight hour days of spring cleaning. An hour or two of light tasks done every few days is probably smarter for everyone but very necessary for those of us who have been gardening for decades. This past week there was an unexpected day of warmth. Temperatures soared to nearly 60F. The  snowdrops unfurled with their sweet scent, the small clump of purple crocus opened against the foundation and the winter aconites raised their sunny faces to the sky. I had trouble taking a picture of the snowdrops. Snowdrops with beesThe honey bees (where do they hide in my garden in the winter?) were landing on my camera with either curiosity or annoyance at the interruption. Snowdrops en masse   Winter aconite group
Today with rain, the flowers are clenched and tight but this year there is a larger patch of snowdrops, a little 'puddle' of winter aconite and this gardener is paying closer attention to both the garden and the blog.