My cat is snoring, old lady that she is. It’s raining steadily as well, adding inches when we don’t need it, though the roses might be glad for the store. Snowdrops are quietly poking through the winter dirt, and their blooms might appear in a month,or more likely, two. It is the season of invisible growth, roots spreading underground, and I watch for signs of anything in the garden. I wish I had planted witch hazel, to bring in color to my view. A viola bloomed but withered before I noticed, the balcony too cold to venture out.
The grey Cape Cod is famous for is in the sky. I am tired of January, and all the dreadful news. I have done my daily wordle and spelling bee. Unmotivated to bake even brownies, I glower at the weather. My car is disassembled in a garage, all of its parts spread out until Insurance gives the mechanics the go ahead to repair it. I purchase seeds for beets, melon, basil, hoping a friend has space under his lamps for a few extra pots.
The electricity bill has nearly doubled. The heater broke but got replaced. My sciatica is an unwelcome visitor, refusing to budge. February will come and go in a blink of an eye, and come March,I will wish again for days like these, so thick and unmoving, a block of time I can’t see over.
I realize I measure my seasons by the bulbs I plant. Tulips, snowdrops, daffodils,fritillarias, and other ephemerals go in October and November. This year, I planted quite a few garlic cloves in the veg garden.
I used to dig dahlia tubers out in the fall as well, but never had much success overwintering them, lacking a cellar or garage to store them. When I’ve tried them inside, the temperature was too warm, and one year’s experiment in a Rubbermaid bin outside was a dismal failure. For the past two years, I have kept them in the ground, sometimes digging the. Up in May to separate and replant,but mostly just hoping for the best. My success rate is nothing to boast of, gifting me too few flowers.
So in go new dahlia bulbs in the summer, and a few canna as well. Bulbs and tubers are easier than seeds, because you plant them and forget about them until you see shoots. Then you can water and fuss.
A friend gave me a pre-potted amaryllis bulb last Christmas that I was delighted to see bloom. So taken was I invested in four bulbs this year. I waited too late to order, and none of them bloomed by Christmas, but one bloomed magnificently that past week, each of its blooms triumphantly opening on two stems.
Three more bulbs have put out shoots, but I have no expectations. That is the way it works with bulbs. Their appearance, in their own time, is never a sure thing but what a glory when the show begins.
I took my last look at No 43 for this year after a wind storm knocked some things about. Remarkably, the kale, while thoroughly rocked by 65 mph winds, remained standing, as did the spent bushes of browned marigolds, seed pods still clinging. some calendula leaves remained green as well.
The garlic poked through with about a month of growth, but hopefully will spend the winter bulking up beneath the soil. I plan to let the kale flower, then cut them down, to make room for tomatoes and zucchini, and cucumbers. I can try early carrots and radish from seed. I might try eggplant again, and cantaloupe.
So, some dreaming, and seed catalogues await, maybe with some sketches.
Happy New Year, Reader. I have been a sparse correspondent this past year, but there is always the new one, to start again. Cheers!