- Author: Sharon L. Rico
Usually this time of year is cold, wet and dreary. Being indoor bound, one does not appreciate what’s happening outdoors. In years past being indoor bound, my free time was spent reading the seed and plant catalogs that arrived in the fall, and planning a spring garden. Not so this year! With most days in the 60's and a few in the 70's, the garden beckons. I am not one to begin chopping down the plants that have frost bite, there are other garden chores to enjoy instead. Plants that are bulging out of their containers can be transplanted to larger pots. Thinning the clumps of callas and wild wood violets is an ongoing project. Moving statuary and garden art to enhance plans for staging the garden this year is another sunny day project. Spending this time outdoors has brought awareness of the surrounding colors. Everything seems to be blooming more abundantly (for February). The bright white calla spathes are unfolding, as I write. The daphne (Thymelaeaceae), with its tiny clustered pink bells, perfumes our shade garden. Camellias (Theaceae), are either in full bloom or covered with swollen buds. One camellia, named ‘Pink Perfection’, is covered in light pink blooms from top to bottom. Azaleas bloom along the shady walkway and in containers. The hardenbergias purple sweet pea-looking blooms, cascade over the wine barrel that has been its home for 20 years. Bright yellow primroses (Primulaceae), bloom at the base of the Rose of Sharon tree (Hibiscus syriacus), and yellow daffodils are opening up in containers and along the driveway. The Lisbon lemon tree has bright yellow lemons glowing from its lower branches, resembling a lopsided Christmas tree. The yellow oxalis flowers are poking up through the celery and among the sweet peas. Native to our garden, I suspect the oxalis has been growing here since 1930. Hanging baskets of red, white and pink cyclamen (Primulaceae) brighten the front porch and side yard. Blue wood violets show up everywhere, including in the middle of the lawn. In the next month or so, the tulips will bloom, followed by roses, sweet peas and iris, adding additional color to the garden. Winter’s sunshine is the time to enjoy being outdoors this year and we’re doing it!