Feeling stressed about the economy? Go work in your garden. There may still be a snow cover where you live, but getting outdoors will make you feel better. Even though it’s February, there are signs that the weather will soon turn and the landscape will be transformed once again.
It was unexpectedly, blessedly, 62 degrees outside today. Unable to sit indoors writing, I put on boots and went out to the perennial garden. I cut down the stalks of plants that were left in the garden because they would self-seed and provide food for wildlife, or because they still looked darn good in late-October. By now, however, the winds and wildlife have taken the seeds, and the dried stalks look broken and ratty.
As I worked my way down the lake-side perennial bed I marveled at all the signs of spring that I saw. The ‘Arnold’s Promise’ witch hazel and the lilacs have fat, yellow buds. The ‘Jacob Cline’ bee balm is a small carpet of green leaves on the surface of the garden. I see that true to form, this Monarda has tripled its size since last year. The hummingbirds will be pleased.
When I reached the end of the bed, I decided to leave the Mexican Feather grass because it is still looking blonde and beautiful. I’m also hoping that the oak leaves that have clustered around their stems will help this plant to survive the winter. Although frequently listed as being hardy in zone 5, I have never had this grass live though our warm zone 6 winters.
I know that it is not yet spring…when I try to pull out the chickweed that I come across, the roots are firmly held in frozen ground. It could snow next week, or anytime in the next month. Today, however, the air is balmy, and the plants are clearly poised for growth. The time of renewal will surely be here soon.
In the garden we work with the seasons, and the cycles of nature remind us that nothing is forever.