As February flutters along on winds as strong and unrelenting as in tales of old, the colors other than grey and brown outside the windows give comfort to a bundled up gardener. Above: Swiss chard shining brightly.
Greens are more welcome than ever now. There is no grousing about the garden being a sea of green with no brilliant blooms as might be the case during the transition periods between spring bulbs and summer daylilies, or that sallow spot before the mums and asters of fall break out into lively song. Above: Mosses amid Ajuga reptans and volunteer forget me nots on the concrete step risers.
Beginning gardeners often make the mistake of thinking in terms of flowering plants only when designing, that term being used rather loosely as most of us start out plopping plants wherever there is an empty spot rather than having a grand plan sketched out on paper: Daffodil and grape hyacinth foliage along the wall with Moss Rocks playing happily on the blocks.
With experience comes wisdom, thank goodness, and the need for evergreen structure and background becomes apparent. Especially in winter that need rings out loud, if one lives in a place where dormancy during the dreary days can bring on despondency and soul sapping sameness. Above: Euphobia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’ and E. ‘Blackbird’.
When the sun shines brightly to chase away those clouds of gloomy spirits to replace that mood with aspirations of spring, we don the parka and sheepskin trapper hat to hike about the hills and investigate the eruptions coming from under the mulch and gravel. Above: Red mustard and Libertia ixioides ‘Taupo Blaze’.
The play of shadow and light on shiny and matte surfaces of varying shape and hue offers intrinsic interest if we change the focus of our mind’s eye. Above: Mahonia media and Viburnum rhytidophylloides ‘Alleghany’.
It is the Tao of the times as the angle of the orb that floats in the sky above is slowly reaching higher to illuminate what was previously in darkness. Above: Crocus tommasinianus ‘Roseus’, lambs ear and purple sage.
So fear not, intrepid gardeners, spring is coming. There is no stopping it. The signs surround us, if we but inspect more closely. Above: Tulip tips and lily bulblets.
Our unfailing gratitude goes to Pam of Digging for providing inspiration in so many things, including the idea of featuring foliage following the monthly melody of Bloom Day.