Winter Greens

~ Winter Greens ~

signs of life as I wait for spring

In the midst of winter, most of my garden plants lie sleeping, felled by frost, obedient to the dictates of the season.

But, here and there, among the dried stalks and fallen leaves, a few persist, verdant and defiant, basking in the chilled sunlight of January.

As I tick off the days, impatient and yearning for spring’s arrival, I count each green leaf  a treasure, helping to carry me through.

Simple and unassuming, eclipsed by  flashier neighbors throughout summer, now do they shine unchallenged, these rebellious beauties.

And as I stroll, my heart fills with grateful appreciation –

– and my shopping list grows ever longer …

Ellie ~ at wit’s end

Attitude and Latitude

~ Attitude and latitude ~

some things can be changed, and some things can’t

So, once again, it’s January – far from my favorite time of the year, but a good time, my friend told me, to give blogging a try. 

“What better time  than now?”  she asked.   Why not use that little surplus of time to try something new now that the hustle of the holidays is behind us and the list of daily gardening chores is short?

Short, too, are the daylight hours here in NC at this time of the year, accounting (at least in part) for my occasional snappish moods along with lagging levels of energy and enthusiasm.  If my friend is right, a little blogging might be the antidote – worth a try, indeed.

While the winter of 2011-2012 has been reasonably mild so far (unseasonably warm at times, actually), we did experience several nights at the beginning of this month when the temperatures dipped below  freezing, so most of my garden in southeastern North Carolina is asleep.

While I do love the easy pace of living on this sleepy little coastal island,  I also crave warm weather year ’round and I wish that I could fill my garden with the tropical plants that I love so much.  Plants that would (IF my garden and I were in my native zone 10), quickly grow into the lush tropical jungle that my heart desires.  So I repeat, January is NOT my favorite time of the year – instead, it is the time when I am most sharply reminded of my tropical roots and the zone 10 blood that courses through my veins .

But, if I haven’t fully acclimated to zone 8 in nearly 30 years, then probably, it will never happen, and since moving south is out of the question for the time being – I’d better continue to endeavor to bloom where I am planted, right?   

So, now that the cold-sensitive divas of my summer garden are all lying dormant, huddled and shivering beneath their blankets of leafy mulch, waiting impatiently (as I am, too) for the sultry days of summer to return, I can’t help admiring the more sturdy inhabitants, thumbing their evergreen noses at the frosty mornings.  Among them, the early-season Camellias are the unabashed stars, choosing now, of all times, to offer their amazing floral display.

I really should take a lesson from my Encore Azaleas – my enthusiasm may be flagging, but not theirs!   Seemingly in defiance of the season, they have opened a smattering of flowers that weren’t due until spring.

Meanwhile, hothouse flower that I am, I tug on layer upon layer of fleece to keep warm whenever I step outside to snap a few photos. 


Ellie ~ at wit’s end