Thursday, February 07, 2013

The Lenten Rose

Here is the great pile of snow that the Bobcat rolled out of our driveway, and along
the fence line to create a little parking spot.
In some spots along the street the road is practically a one lane road, although the last few days of warmer  weather have taken all the ruts away and we are now driving on pavement – mostly.
Not that there has been any sunshine!!!  It is possible to follow the sun as it traverses the top of K Mountain, but only as a faint glow behind the lowering clouds.
I looked at all this snow stacked like large dirty white haystacks at each intersection in town, and thought glumly about when we would ever see a bulb or blossom with two feet of the blessed stuff covering all the garden.
Then I thought about the Hellebores, – those lovely Lenten roses that only have a few days to make it to Lent, which is early this year, according to the moon.
It was a warm afternoon.  I will go out!!!!
I walked to the mailbox in my boots, slushing through the snow at the sides of the road. 
When I came back I found a small shovel, and after I had put feed out for the birds I started to remove the snow carefully where I knew the Hellebores were tucked in under their white coverlet.
Here is what I found!!!
How brave and beautiful as they did what they had to do in the season they were called upon to do it
I cannot begin to tell you what a wonderful feeling of hope and well-being they gave me.  I have been waiting with such longing for spring and the garden to distract me from my other yearnings
Inside, some of the bathtub forsythia has made it to the centre of the table – a lovely cheering accompaniment to dinner-for-one
along with three delicious books of poetry that arrived in the mail.
Mary Oliver’s ‘What do we Know’ and ‘Owls and other Fantasies’ as well as the selected poems of Wendell Berry.
From Mary Oliver….bless her for the beauty and the wisdom and the joy and comfort she imparts…..
Here are her thoughts on springtime and the woodpeckers
All day the flicker
has anticipated
the lust of the season, by
shouting.  He scouts up
tree after tree and at
a certain place begins
to cry out.  My, in his
black-freckled vest, bay body with
red trim and sudden chrome
underwings, he is
dapper.  Of course somebody
listening nearby
hears him; she answers
with a sound like hysterical
laughter and rushes out into
the field where he is poised
on an old phone pole, his head
swinging, his wings
opening and shutting in a kind of
butterfly stroke.  She can't
resist; they touch; they flutter.
How lightly, altogether, they accept
the great task, of carrying life
forward! ............

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

ABC Wednesday

The letter is D, the flower is DelphiniumIMG_5128x
One of my favourite flowers.  I have grown them in every garden I have ever had.
Delphiniums are an alkaline loving perennial,
popular in cottage type gardens where their beautiful showy spikes tower  in gorgeous shades of blue, pink, white and purple.
They are fond of moist cool summers and definitely need to be staked early in the season if they are going to be exposed to sudden wind or rain.
Difficult to grow from seed, they should be purchased in a pot, unless, of course, you have a friendly neighbour who is willing to part with a crown.  Dig a hole twice the diameter of the plant’s container, and be sure that the top of the root ball is level with the soil.
After the first blooming in June cut the flower stalks to the ground and new flower stalks will develop so that you can enjoy Delphinium in October, although they won't be as spectacular as the June flowers – but just as precious as you go into winter.
Very young delphinium plants and delphinium seeds are poisonous, and can cause nausea, twitching muscles, paralysis and even death, so please don’t consider them a delicacy.
For more interesting Ds please click here and visit ABC Wednesday.