Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Prunus subhirtella 'Autumnalis'

It's December, or it will be in a couple hours, and we've barely been below freezing. This is the time of year when I usually enter the "denial" stage. Maybe winter will pass over us; maybe we'll get into the high 40's or the 50's F every day and the sun will shine. No snow, no ice, no roaring dry cold winds out of the west. I can remember winter's when German Iris flowered in January in hot spots in the city. And a clump of wax begonias survived on the south side of the house only to succumb to cool wet weather in March. And snapdragons flowered in a planter at the Beltsville Post Office all winter. Of all things. Spring'll start the second week of February for sure, maybe the first.....

It never happens that way though. And it's always okay. Winter's kind of fun in it's own way. We usually get the animals flea and tick free before it warms up. Fires are nice. Frost, even snow, is beautiful. To see the dendritic filigree of branches against the sky or, heaven help us, snow is worth a bit of cold. And it's good to see the garden clear of the rambunctious sprawl of summer. Good for perspective. And pruning. I enjoy pruning, playing at omnipotence, deciding what direction a plant will take for the rest of its life. They're more manageable than children. I like that. And then to watch it grow, develop, fulfill its promise. As the years pass by, spring seems to come more quickly and go the same. So I guess I'll just try to embrace winter and whatever comes with it.

Still, when I come around the bend from Beechspring Pond headed up to the Asian Collections and see these cherries blanketed with pink flowers warmed in the early sun it is understandable that my thoughts might turn to spring.

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