We need the sweet pain of anticipation to tell us we are really alive.
― Albert Camus
Every year about this time I begin to think ahead to spring. My mind imagines those warm morning breezes with a faint a scent of earthiness that come as each day reveals new surprises in the garden. But alas, February, a brief month with short days, is long with anticipation. Snowy, cold, and devoid of vegetation, it’s beauty lies in a crisp, stark, landscape covered in snow and ice, a contrast of light and dark, of snow and structure.
It’s easy to overlook the beauty of winter in the garden, but it’s just as easy to overlook the insight winter provides. A walk in the garden in winter, reveals useful information as we look ahead to and begin planning the coming garden season. Our friend Christine Darnell touched on this nicely in a recent article she wrote for The Shoreline Times. You can read Christine’s article here, and after you do, make sure to come back and tell us what plans you have for your landscape this year, and how the winter landscape inspired you.
Yes, February is filled with the sweet pain of anticipation, as Mr. Camus states. But, remember to thank February for the gifts it brings to those of us that will venture out into the drifts and gain insight. Spring will come, but today is full of opportunity.
And on that note, I will leave you with these lyrics from Carly Simon, who gave us some very memorable thoughts on Anticipation.
I’m no prophet, I don’t know nature’s way
So I’ll try to see into your eyes right now
And stay right here, ’cause these are the good old days.
All the best my friends, stay warm!
~ George R. R. Martin A Feast for Crows
As another cold and snowy winter trods along, and we mark time until the warm breath of spring reawakens our senses, we find hope as gardeners, in the early signs of the coming gardening season. Febraury is a deep month, deep in the heart of winter, but it is also the dark hour before the sunrise that is spring. In just a few short weeks we’ll begin to feel the warm rays of sun and gentler breezes that inspire, unlike the grey skies and cold balsts that cut to the bone. February also brings the many seed catalogs and flower shows to our doorsteps, and with them the promise that our efforts in the garden this coming season, will reward with lush growth and beautiful blooms.
The quote above from Mr. Martin struck me today as I thought about catalogs, flowers shows and the coming season. I am reminded of the many annuals that will soon be flying off the shelf to find their way into flower beds and decorative pots. They are summer friends, they melt away with the cold temps of fall and leave us with the memory of their warm season glory. I am also reminded of a gardeners “forever” friends, the perennial plants that also show change with the onset of colder temps. These long lived friends (I hesitate to call them “forever”) do not succomb, but rather endure the winter months, at rest, waiting for that warm breath to once again awaken them, when they will smile from the garden and remind us that some things in life are worth waiting for, that some things make the depths of Febraury a little easier to handle.
May you find the warm breath of spring soon, and long may your friends return!