Sunday, February 10
Normally, my busy time at work is finished by the second weekend of February... but that's not true this year, I'm afraid. It's been a long winter in that way.
Unlike many of my fellow garden bloggers, it seems, I have been lucky enough to escape the "winter blahs," or Seasonal Affective Disorder, or whatever you want to call it. I think that my regular walks, both with and without my four-legged gardening assistant, really help. Winter seems much less oppressive when you do not feel house-bound because of it.
Another thing that helps is the winter garden. I enjoy noticing the little things, like the way the winter sunlight highlights my miscanthus 'Zebrinus' in the mornings. Yesterday, I amused myself by counting the flower buds on my three 'Ivory Prince' hellebores. (Eight!) Today I trudged out to the front garden after work to lay in a few evergreen boughs (Christmas tree recycling) around the base of the Dortmund rose before tonight's temperature drop. Temps have bottomed out before, but this time we have no snowcover so I figured the rose might appreciate some extra protection.
I also enjoy judging the coldness of the day by the angle at which the rhododendron leaves are drooping... and checking to see how many new kinds of birds are visiting my feeders. Unlike certain other people who shall remain nameless, I decided to declare a truce with my own resident squirrel and bought a bag of "squirrel and critter" feed at the store today. I hope that providing him his own chow will keep him from camping out (literally) on top of the platform feeder and gorging on birdseed! We'll see.
Last, but not least, Friday was my birthday... and while Mom acknowledged that this wasn't quite what they had in mind, I am using part of my parents' gift to buy the peach tree that I have been wanting to espalier against the last open section of fence. (Sometimes I'm sure it would be easier on them if their daughter liked to splurge on clothing or earrings instead of plants, and asked for things like designer jeans instead of a circular saw for Christmas. But they love me anyway.)
So while winter hasn't been too bad--and the long hours at work are making it go by quickly anyway--I have at least one fun thing to look forward to this spring: Seeing a Charlie-Brown-looking stick arrive in the mail and imagining it into a full-blown tree, loaded with juicy, sweet peaches, as I plant it.