Nature looks dead in winter because her life is gathered into her heart. She withers the plant down to the root that she may grow it up again fairer and stronger. She calls her family together within her inmost home to prepare them for being scattered abroad upon the face of the earth.
~ Hugh Macmillan, “Rejuvenescence,” The Ministry of Nature, 1871
“My old grandmother always used to say, summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever.”
~ George R. R. Martin A Feast for Crows
As another cold and snowy winter trods along, and we mark time until the warm breath of spring reawakens our senses, we find hope as gardeners, in the early signs of the coming gardening season. Febraury is a deep month, deep in the heart of winter, but it is also the dark hour before the sunrise that is spring. In just a few short weeks we’ll begin to feel the warm rays of sun and gentler breezes that inspire, unlike the grey skies and cold balsts that cut to the bone. February also brings the many seed catalogs and flower shows to our doorsteps, and with them the promise that our efforts in the garden this coming season, will reward with lush growth and beautiful blooms.
The quote above from Mr. Martin struck me today as I thought about catalogs, flowers shows and the coming season. I am reminded of the many annuals that will soon be flying off the shelf to find their way into flower beds and decorative pots. They are summer friends, they melt away with the cold temps of fall and leave us with the memory of their warm season glory. I am also reminded of a gardeners “forever” friends, the perennial plants that also show change with the onset of colder temps. These long lived friends (I hesitate to call them “forever”) do not succomb, but rather endure the winter months, at rest, waiting for that warm breath to once again awaken them, when they will smile from the garden and remind us that some things in life are worth waiting for, that some things make the depths of Febraury a little easier to handle.
May you find the warm breath of spring soon, and long may your friends return!
Mother nature threw up a speed bump for the first day of spring in the form of a late winter snowfall. We are not deterred though, as warmer weather is at hand and we’ll be out working in the garden very soon.
Happy Spring everyone!