Wednesday, March 5

Encased

In the real dark night of the soul, it is always March 5th,
day after day...
(my apologies to F. Scott Fitzgerald)

These baptisia seedpods look much the way I feel right now mentally:
Encased, suspended, immobile.


But don't they look cool? Sights like these always make me thankful that I am not in a hurry to clean up my garden in the fall. If I did more than just the cleanup necessary for hygiene reasons (rose and tomato foliage, etc.) then this area of the garden would be a blank white void today. Instead, I get to enjoy iced branches and seedpods. And grasses.

Here is carex buchanii sporting a new winter 'do. Can't you just see plant hybridizers trying to come up with a grass that looks like it has dreadlocks ("Coolio" hair grass doesn't count, in spite of its name) for use in containers and modern gardens?

I admit, I'd be tempted to buy it.
I could never carry them off, but I think that dreads are beautiful on many people. Why not in the garden?


I'd been planning to give the Japanese maple (above) a judicious pruning in the spring. Maybe Ma Nature is getting a head start... if she is, I hope I agree with her aesthetics.


The ice on the neighbor's beech tree is thicker than the coating on my Japanese maple. I'm always fascinated by the thick buds on the beech... they have such presence that you notice them from afar. Like drop earrings worn against a bare neck, with your hair in an updo. Elegant drama.

Does anyone else see ice-coated branches and feel tempted to brush up against them just to see whether they shatter?


I never would do it, of course, but I'm always tempted. And I know that ice can be destructive but somehow I fail to feel dismayed when I see it in my yard.

Must be something about the way it turns everything around me into a crystalline wonderland, and sets shafts of sunlight ablaze with a million twinkles.

Ice can't be all bad if it brings some beauty into your world during what has felt like the. absolute. longest. winter. ever. Right?

34 comments:

Carol said...

I agree, ice can be beautiful in the garden. My garden was encased this morning, too.

I'm trying to figure out why this does seem like such a long winter this year. We didn't get as much snow as some years, and though it was cold, it wasn't colder than any other winter. What is it about thiswinter?

Kerri said...

Right Kim! As much as I hate trying to get around in it, ice can be truly breathtaking, especially if one can view it through a window while ensconced in a cozy, warm house.
But of course, when it looks like that we have to bundle up and go outside with the camera :)
Spring. will. be. here. soon!

Pam/Digging said...

Carex dreads--I love it! Hope you get thawed out soon, Kim. After you've had time to enjoy the crystalline wonderland, of course.

Kylee said...

We got ice, too, Kim. I hated hearing it all day yesterday on the windows. Luckily, I don't think it hurt much.

And while I don't know exactly if ice shatters when you bump against it, I love hearing the clacking as the willow branches hit each other!

Leslie said...

I called my Dad who is visiting my aunt In Independence and heard about the ice storm today. Last time I saw one I was about 14 and not much of a gardener and so I wondered if your garden would be OK. I'm glad to see it looks beautiful and that you can even appreciate it! I hope this is the last hurrah of winter and spring will be there soon.

Anna said...

Your pictures are chillingly beautiful!! I'm glad that is you and not me! We didn't have our usual winter of those days where things looked like frosty statues. It was very mild here. Good thing you can see the beauty in it.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Ice storms do create a beautiful wonderland. When the ice begins to thaw all of that crackling and groaning sounds so eerie.

I am with you on the l-o-n-g feeling of this winter. I will be glad when Mz Spring is allowed to settle in for awhile.

word verification this time is
gtlkim. :)

Yolanda Elizabet said...

A garden can be enjoyed during every season of the year. Each season brings its own beauty. Winter has it good points too. The ice and snow has turned your garden into a wonderful, magical place to be. And your garden is great PR for NOT cleaning everything up before winter falls.

Carex with dreadlocks .... I like it!

Spring will come, never fear!

Entangled said...

Ice storms are so beautiful. If only everybody could just stay home when they happen.

We had ice a couple of weeks ago and now there are crocuses and a few early daffodils. Keep thinking warm thoughts!

Jane Marie said...

In my area, this is the worst winter since the mid 60s. It seems like it will never, never end. I have never been one to get depressed in the winter like some people do, but in the last week I have been feeling it creep up. I'm feeling like the quote at the top of your page.

Benjamin Vogt said...

You're strange. (hair... brush up against ice, like a cat?....)

Layanee said...

Kim: Great pictures but, I agree, the longest winter on record! It seems like it anyway! Today, blue skies. Must go take some pictures!

Layanee said...

Kim: How about this one for your dreadlocks which I always find dreadful but then that is just one opinion and not a very popular one!
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.plantoftheweek.org/image/juncus.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week333.shtml&h=103&w=137&sz=85&tbnid=jnitJLBeoUoJ:&tbnh=103&tbnw=137&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=1&ct=image&cd=2

Layanee said...

I guess that link didn't work but the plant is Juncus effusus 'Unicorn'.

Kelly said...

My camera ran out of battery juice while I was walking around taking pics at the end of the day yesterday for a post... it's just so spectacular out there, but I can say so because there wasn't any major tree or plant damage around. I don't think we got it quite as bad down here in Kent. Sooo pretty.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Isn't it great when you can not only justify, but praise procrastination? Ice is beautiful, but, like Belgian truffles, it is a thing one can enjoy only sparingly. Does seeing dreadlocks in ice make you feel warmer? "Dreadlocks" always makes me think of Reggae, which makes me think of Jamaica, with its sunny, white sand beaches. Aaah...

gintoino said...

Living in a place where temperatures never go under 5ÂșC (which means no ice or snow)I always marvel myself with pictures like the ones you show us in this post. Ice can indeed make beautiful things to a garden.

Meagan said...

I'm pretty sure it can be bad AND beautiful (hopefully without turning into a bad oldies song). It did make for some pretty amazing imagery... makes me realize that I've been living in the Midwest too long. Overnight transformation from snow no longer makes me go: "Oh wow" but this did.

Annie in Austin said...

I like your attitude and words, Kim - maybe the corkscrew rush and Baptisia could go together as a combo? With the rush as the dreadlocked musician and the Baptisia AKA Rattle bush as the maracas.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Carol, if you figure it out, please let me know... I have been wondering that, too! And we've certainly had our share of sunny days (like today) here, too, so I don't think it's a dearth of sunshine...

Kerri, I hope! :) And you're right, it really is pretty viewed from indoors in a cozy house. Particularly with a warm mug of something in hand.

Pam, thanks! We're actually de-iced already at this point of today. Lots of snow on the ground yet, but no more glitter on the trees.

Kylee, I know--I hated hearing it on the windows, too. I broke a storm window last year while I was painting the windows, and I never got it up and fixed, so I was cringing when I heard the ice hitting my leaded glass windows. I know they're sturdy, but still!

Leslie, I hope your Dad is having a great visit! We got a little less than Independence, I think... I work just south of there, near Brecksville, and Brecksville was truly a winter wonderland of ice--particularly near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. There were also more downed limbs there than I saw here, but we did lose power for a few hours yesterday.

Anna, thanks for stopping by! Frosty statues instead of ice capades... sounds like you're in a much warmer place than I am! I'll have to check out your blog and see where. :)

Greenbow Lisa, we heard a bunch of that this morning. Strangely, it sounded like the same tinkling noise I heard when the ice was hitting the window... not much groaning, just little sounds of breaking out of your shell. (lol at the word verification! "Great Lakes Kim" maybe?!)

Yolanda Elizabet, it definitely is PR for NOT cleaning everything up! After reading "Seedheads in the Garden" by Noel Kingsbury, I decided to give some preference to plants that would hold up well over the winter... and am very glad that I have.

Entangled, good point. I drove home in the ice storm on Tuesday night, and to say that it was an adventure might have been an understatement. :) I am definitely thinking spring bulb thoughts here now!

Jane Marie, looks like you're from Michigan--not too far from me in Northern Ohio! I have never had SAD, either, but the last couple of weeks have been creeping up on me as well. I just think that one or two good 50 degree days, when you can smell the earthiness of spring, would do my soul some good right about now!

Benjamin Vogt, you do give the nicest compliments. *grin* (Can I blame this strangeness on sick-of-winter-itis?)

Layanee, here, too, with the blue skies today! And by the way I have grown that rush before (in a deep birdbath, of all things) and I LOVE it! Such a fun look, and a pretty deep green color. (btw, the "gangsta" dreads don't do much for me, but the long "reggae" ones are quite lovely most of the time!)

Kelly, I bet it was beautiful there! I think that neither of us got it so badly as those in between--Brecksville seemed to have lots of downed limbs as I was driving to work yesterday. And up in Ashtabula, it was supposedly even worse. We got lucky and only got the beauty, not the beast, it seems. :)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter, I'm a big fan of procrastination! lol. And you know, seeing dreadlocks SHOULD make me feel warmer... I'm going to go back out and look at that grass and think of Jamaica.... *sigh*

gintoino, isn't that such a wonderful thing about blogging? You get to enjoy my ice, and I get to enjoy that light that you have down there... the kind of light which makes our sunshine look like a pale imitation. :)

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Meagan, heh... maybe we'll make a midwestern girl out of you yet!!! (Insert evil laugh: Mwahahahaha!)

Annie, I LOVE that idea! And I'm sure that I could find a plant somewhere that would provide an appropriate bell accompaniment, now that you mention it... *grin*

rees cowden said...

I just had to say ...cool name..
Rees Cowden
www.greensideupblog.com

No Brown Thumbs

Tom said...

Its amazing how much ice you guys got in Northern Ohio! Nothing here in Columbus but about two inches of rain followed by an inch of snow.

Great pictures!

Tom

jodi said...

Stunning photos, Kim. It does seem to be a very long winter, and I wonder if that's because we're so much into enjoying the earlier springs of some of the more southerly bloggers? We didn't get much of the ice accumulation, this time. Must have all stayed down your way...

Me said...

The first two photos are absolutely gorgeous. I too love to see the ice - even when I know it destroys well-laid plans and designs.

Ki said...

Very cool, literally and visually, photos of the ice covered plants. The Baptisia seeds are especially nice...glad you uploaded a large photo. We didn't see much ice or snow this year so it's nice to see rime and ice covered photos....at a distance. Probably jinxed myself now.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Nice photos. Ice Storms always scare the heck out of me but your right they are beautiful when moderate.

This winter hasn't been that bad in Connecticut and is just about to become a distant bad memory. We have had so much rain (which is better than snow) with another 2+ inches expected today, that would make a little under 5 inches for two days.

I enjoyed your last post with all the flowers and foliage. Well done!

albertapostcards said...

Blogger blew up my last response -- if this is a duplicate please delete one of them. I too love ice in the garden. It adds sparkle, texture, and reflection.
I also love grasses left to overwinter as well as some of the other plants too. The other plants I leave over winter are partly for the birds enjoyment and partly for me!

Diane

Pam said...

I remember ice storms from my days in Michigan - everything would look so beautiful, and then I'd stop and 'listen' and I'd hear the slow and not-so-slow crackle of branches in the woods beyond the barn.

I hope everything fared well.

Rosemarie said...

It IS the longest winter ever. I was very excited by the 2x2 patch of green grass that I saw this morning...

joey said...

Promise me you won't touch those branches, Kim ... we need you and your humor to brighten our day. This too shall pass ... and spring will sing a song even lovlier for those of us that have patiently waited for the simplest sign (like to see the earth would be a good start) ;)

Shady Gardener said...

I'm sorry you had such ice at such a time of year. Dreadlocks! Please hang on to that sense of humor! :-)

lisa said...

Wow...nice ice! I tend to prefer snow, but the ice is quite beautiful...sure hope your trees and bushes don't suffer much damage!

Stratoz said...

I hope things have improved there. I ventured forth into my garden today tempting the weather gods for a late March snow--- just a bunch of straightening up.

It felt good.

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