Friday, around 6:30 in the afternoon, a stray ray of sunlight fell along a strip of grass at the base of the evergreens. It stayed only a few minutes, but it's a start. So yesterday, we were out arranging hoses, checking on garden tools, cleaning up fallen leaves, checking the compost, making shopping lists: manure - chicken, mushroom and steer , slug bait, a few more plants for Laurie's newly-cleared (and mostly sunny!) patch, maybe some more hostas for my shady corner.) Gardening fever is upon us again.
In spite of the weather and the lack of sunlight, I have flowers; hellebore in full bloom, pachysandra, heather. And the new stalks of Dutchman's breeches are six inches tall, bright yellow-green and strong.
|Western Bleeding Heart, leafing out. Near the roots, there's a mass of flower buds.|
|Hellebore in a bare garden.|
|This one lives in a pot in an even darker corner, so the sepals are green-tipped. Those tiny green things around the center are the petals.|
Around the corner, in Laurie's new garden, the sun has been shining (when it isn't raining) for well over a week. There, he has well-established Oregon grape, rescued from under a tangled mass of long-abandoned cotoneaster last summer; it's loaded with buds already. The perennials we planted last year are looking good; pachysandra, various small evergreens, camellias, ferns, mint, a rosebush, and more. Everything is budding and stretching.
|Last fall we bought these winter pansies. Half went in my shady spot, half in Laurie's semi-shaded area. Mine died under the onslaught of snow and rain; his are thriving.|
|Some animal broke a stalk off the white hellebore, months ago. Laurie stuck it in water at the base of an empty pot for protection. And now, it's blooming!|
|And wonder of wonders; the Swiss chard in the 6 by 8 foot vegetable garden, cut down in December, is sprouting new leaves!|
Ah, the season of dirt and rakes, slug wars and vanquished roots, seedlings and fish fertilizer! Aching back and all, I love it!
*Title: the Irish in me coming out.