Sunday, February 13, 2011

a little warmth goes a long way

There's talk about a warming trend. Last year we got 40" of snow in the first half of February, but up until February, we'd had almost nothing. In contrast, this year it feels like there has been snow on the ground since Halloween... or was that Thanksgiving? Well it's been a l-o-o-n-g time.
Some years it doesn't much matter to me what happens outside. Most years, in fact. I like all the different weather we get here, but this year the snow has been around too long. I yearn for some GREEN! This year spring can't get here fast enough. I need it now!
Today we had our first warmish day for a long time. The snow is finally starting to give way. I pulled on some boots and had a look around. There's not a whole lot to see just yet. The horehound is amazingly continuing to grow. I didn't take a picture, but don't mind saying that I find that a wee bit scary for its neighboring plants - the fennel, gooseberries, and something else that I can't remember at the moment (it's still buried under the white blanket).
There are three rosemary plants out back. They really aren't fond of the bitter cold temperatures that we got this year, especially before they were covered with snow. Looking at this one, it's hard to say whether it will survive or not, but the lower part of the plant that was protected by snow looks more viable than the tips.
The golden elderberry bush has swelling buds. Just this year I learned from Barb Steele at Alloway Creek Gardens that having more than one variety of elderberry will increase the yeild from all of the bushes. That explains the 6 weeks that I spent frantically drying, freezing, and tincturing last year (still have some dried berries available on the website, btw....).
Under the elderberry, a deceptively weak looking plantain is greening up. There are many plants showing green - chickweed, garlic mustard, and plantain in particular, although most of them are still under snow.
The long row of Munstead lavender is silvery white without a tinge of green yet - but I have no doubt that it will survive. I suppose it's not good to be so cocky, but the lavender seems to love the soil here, and in 5 years they've done nothing but spread and grow, needing vigorous haircuts last year. These particular plants flowered continuously for 3 months last year.
The front yard only has two patches of ground, surrounding the trees. It makes me wonder about whether the roots produce some kind of energy/heat. Certainly there isn't as much snow under trees, since the branches would form a shield, but this is kind of interesting.
This coming week we should head towards 60 degrees by the end of the week. I can't wait!

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