Thursday, February 20, 2014


My neighbor's hibiscus, or mallows
Too early, you say?
Four weeks from today, March 20, will bring in the vernal equinox.

One of my calendars says, "Spring begins."
Another, "First day of spring." Remember? The day when daylight and nighttime hours are equal?

Whatever you call it, however you describe it, we have four weeks to get ready for the next season.

My neighbor's hibiscus doesn't bloom in spring; it's comes into full flower in late June or July, but it keeps going into the autumn.

Joy among the marigolds.

My own efforts lean more toward a couple of six-packs of marigolds. After a few seasons of replanting them because squirrels, and perhaps cats, had uprooted the plants from their pots, I learned to surround the planters with chicken wire. Looks goofy, but the flowers survive and give me the color I like. Joy always sniffs them when she passes by.

Another beautiful plant that was in my yard when I bought this house is the resurrection lily, also called a surprise lily, because it certainly surprises the gardener when the leaves wilt and everything looks grim indeed. Then stalks come through the ground, looking like oddball asparagus spears. They grow taller and taller and taller and then the tightly budded tips open. One stalk may host nine or more blooms.

(I've heard these lilies called naked ladies, but that name never caught on with me.)

Yes, I know it's too early to talk of spring. We still have more snow on the ground than the North Pole (seems like it anyway) and nowhere for it to go now that temps are moderating. Today we're predicted to reach 52 degrees! (Really? In February?)

There is definitely hope for spring's arrival--yesterday my driveway was clear of snow, ice, and water. Icicles that dripped from the eaves in front have met their death in sunshine and temps in the high 30s. Snow piles that topped four feet dwindle as we watch. As I write this, we have freezing rain, 36 degrees, thunder, and lightning. (I am not lying.)

I don't discount a late winter snowstorm, but remember...four weeks. We can make it!

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