Saturday, February 28, 2015


"In winter's cold and sparkling snow,
The garden in my mind does grow.

I look outside to blinding white,
And see my tulips blooming bright.
And over there a sweet carnation,
Softly scents my imagination.

On this cold and freezing day,
The Russian sage does gently sway,
And miniature roses perfume the air,
I can see them blooming there.
Though days are short, my vision's clear.
And through the snow, the buds appear.

In my mind, clematis climbs,
And morning glories do entwine.
Woodland phlox and scarlet pinks,
Replace the frost, if I just blink.
My inner eye sees past the snow.
And in my mind, my garden grows."
-  Cynthia Adams, Winter Garden.

A few warm days in early February and I was enticed to visit the garden center and browse.  I came home with  2 'celestial' dogwoods  ( large white flowering mix of the Florida and Kousa dogwoods ), an Edgeworthia,  American wisteria, prunus mume and a 'Little Gem' magnolia.   I still pinch myself to think that I'm planting in February.

Just when I thought that February would continue to bring us days of 60 degrees without end old man winter came roaring in on the Siberian express to remind us that we were not forgotten.  We had days of freezing, cold rain that turned to dangerous ice, followed by slushy wet heavy snow.  Our total snowfall was at least 7 or 8 inches, almost unheard of here.

The temperatures reached lows of near zero and I covered my camellia with a warm row cover which helped, along with the anti-dessicant spray that I applied before winter set in.  It seemed to have helped keep the broadleaf evergreens from freezing.   My newly planted magnolia lost a few limbs to the heavy snow .  Lesson learned.  Next time I will protect it by wrapping it in burlap or creating a snow tent around it.

In my back woodlands I saw a cheerie sight - daffodils in bloom.

A most welcome sign of Spring despite winter's brief visit.  During my confinement indoors I enjoyed watching the birds gather at the feeders.  Blue birds, my favorites, cardinals, woodpeckers, bluejays, robins, Carolina wren and mourning doves filled their bellies with suet and seeds.

Two weeks of this shortest month were spent indoors because of the dangers of driving on icy roads. Unlike in the big cities, everything comes to a standstill here.  

Now comes the last day of February and March has just announced that Spring will arrive on the 4th with temperatures in the 70's.  I don't know how long it will last but I will promise that I'll enjoy it even for a day.   The garden in my mind does grow .

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