Flowers!


I’m not really sure how much people from the rest of the country want to hear about how sunny and warm it is here. If you’re one of those people sitting through yet another snow storm, would it be annoying or inspiring? Would you think of it as rubbing it in, or a kind of sign to reassure you that spring really is coming?

I’ve decided to treat this early spring as a kind of mental health gift for me. After that long period of feeling droopy, depressed, and generally not-well for at least the last 4 months of last year, this sunshine and warm weather is perfectly matched to my renewed level of energy and vitality.

Today I made the time to go poke around in my backyard to see how the different plants were faring and what needed tending. I was surprised to find this:

Cyclamen, getting ready to bloom.

You know those flowering plants that people give around Christmas time (other than Poinsettias)? They’re most likely cyclamens. I love that they come in red, pinks, white and even some variegated colors. I keep hearing how most people throw them out once they die back in the spring, and I want to scold them for that! They’re a winter plant, and always die back over the summer. If you plant them in a semi-shady part of the yard, they’ll be just fine with whatever water and sun nature gives them.

I planted several cyclamens in this space nearly a year ago, once they’d stopped blooming and started looking kinda raggedy. Although they’re doing fairly well, they haven’t shown any signs of blooming, and that was starting to make me a little sad. Until today! Today there are four very sturdy looking blooms that have finally decided to come up. I’m so excited. I love these little flowers. I hope they keep blooming for a while, and then get pollinated and make seeds and take over that whole space!

Another surprise comes from some of the primroses I’d originally planted in the front yard last winter. They were lovely along the front walk, and I had one of each color I could find. When summer came, it was too hot for them there, so I moved them to a space next to the patio in the back where they would be safe in shade all summer. They got a bit eaten by the snails/slugs during the rains, but a few of them managed to overcome that. That space is getting a good amount of sun now, and the few survivors are looking quite hearty.

Aren’t these just the most cheerful little guys?

Pink primrose, blooming.

The gardeners among my readers will enjoy this next bit. You know you’re a gardener when you strike up conversations with random people out working in their yards, and come home with more plants for your own yard. On one of my trips home from the farm stand last summer, I rode past a yard that had the most gorgeous flowers. The woman working in the yard was nice enough to walk me around her entire yard, showing me everything she had going on, and then sent me home with more divisions and cuttings than would possibly fit in my bike basket.

One of these was a Lenten Rose, which is a flower I’d never heard of before. I saw them in her yard, and they looked lovely. She wasn’t sure what color it would be, as she had several different kinds in her yard, and I was excited to find out. I had very little knowledge of how well a Lenten Rose would do in my yard, but she assured me it would eventually take off, as long as I kept it in the shade during the hot months. I planted it when I got home, and diligently watered it, but never saw much in the way of new growth. Slightly disappointed, I assumed it was just adjusting to the new space, and was just satisfied that it didn’t die, hoping that it would eventually start to grow. Today, I noticed that what I thought was a leaf was actually a flower! It’s a green/white Lenten Rose. How lovely!

Green Lenten Rose

And there are new shoots coming up, so I guess it’s going to start growing now. Yay!

I also replanted peas in my garden. The peas I’d planted back in December never really took off. I’m sure you’re not surprised. A lot of them came up, but then the snails got them. But one did quite well. It looks a bit lonely out there, so I hope the new sprouts come up quickly and take off.

My winter garden.

The chard looks happy. And the beets. And the weeds.

If you’re in a temperate zone, what’s the one sign of Spring you’re most excited about? If you’re in a snow zone, what are you looking forward to the most?

 

 

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