Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Winter Garden


It is not unusual for a winter day in Central California to be foggy and gray. Even so, on a recent very foggy Saturday I overheard several conversations that began, "I am so sick of this fog!" Obviously knowing it is common and being accepting of it are not the same thing. Many years ago I dreaded the long, wet, foggy winter because I thought I couldn't get into the garden. With passing years (perhaps fueled originally by some desperation) I realized that our winters were a great time to be outside. The above photo is an example. Many of us look outside, see that fog and all we think is "another gray day." But there is pink in that photo too!

 Today I went out to do some clean up. Salvias, nepeta, ornamental oregano and more needed cutting back and the leaves that finally fell from the ornamental plum needed to be raked. If I had stayed inside I would never have found this:


...a daffodil popping up.  And in another bed, under leaves and iberis I found these:
...miniature yellow daffodils that will bloom perhaps in time for next month's Garden Blogger Bloom Day! If I hadn't been crawling around picking old iris leaves off newly sprouting tubers I'd have never seen these:
...sedum just starting to come up. It was damp and it was cool but it was also peaceful and quiet in the winter garden. It was a different gardening experience and one that I have come to enjoy in the last few years as much, if in a different way, as I do gardening in other seasons. There was no rush, no panic that time is running out like it tends to do in the spring. Instead I know that even with the rainy days still to come, there will be several chances to finish the cleanup and a bit of transplanting that could be done before major spring work begins. A couple of friends looked at me strangely when I told them I'd spent a few hours in the garden today, their only comment something about it being too cold and wet. But if they had spent some time out there today they might have found something to make them smile, just as I did...
...the first leucojum of the season!

5 comments:

Gail said...

Leslie, You're so right, we can't wait for perfect days or we'll rarely get in the garden. The fog really does highlight the pink flower~a lovely moody photo. LLucky gardener, leucojum blooms quite a bit later in Nashville! gail

Layanee said...

Leslie, in New England the refrain is 'I am so sick of this cold and snow' which really does impact gardening but then one needs time for reflection, learning and planning. I love the misty mornings and your picture is lovely.

Commonweeder said...

A winter garden in Davis is very different from a winter garden in Davis. I'm just glad my potted bulbs are finally sending up good shoots. YOur photographs are gorgeous.

Mac_fromAustralia said...

Lovely effect in that photo with the fog.

earlysnowdrop said...

My bulbs have started to grow, too. Beautiful days like we have had for the past week make a gardener very happy.