“. . . promises can lead to joy and hope and love, yes love.” lyricist Hal David
As many others have commented lately, this is a mild winter, the one that allows you to see everything without a protective blanket of snow. Snow, often referred to as “white mulch” by northern gardeners, is preferable as it protects the plants through harsh conditions and fixes nitrogen in the soil. But I can never bring myself to eschew a mild bare winter where I can actually see the garden. If you grow perennials and shrubs, you have a lot to look at in January.
On a stroll through the garden this morning, I saw the promise of spring and summer everywhere. The reddening of tree branch tips, swollen with the storage of sugars that will burst open in a few months as blooms or leaves. The winter growth of grape hyacinth bulbs, promising lovely purple cones of bloom in early spring. The leathery green umbrella foliage of hellebores, promising spectacular and welcome early blossoms in shades of purple, lavender, rose, and cream. The new green growth of forget-me-nots, promising a carpet of fairy tale blue for the spring garden. The rich green velvet of hardy geranium leaves, constant throughout the winter and effervescent in May and June with sweet five petal blossoms that feed the bees and butterflies and scent the air. New plantlets of Rudbeckia “Viette’s Little Suzy”, a miniature black-eyed Susan seeding true from the seed heads of the parent plant. Textured stars-within-stars of foxglove leaves, promising tall wands of beauty to come.
A January promise of beauty to come and a reminder that life goes on every minute of every day, sometimes underground or under snow, whether we witness it or not. I think that is called “promises (that) can lead to joy and hope and love, yes love.” (Hal David)
For the music:
The song “Promises, Promises” performed by Dionne Warwick (the perfect marriage of music and lyrics and voice)
Text and photos from the post “Promises, Promises!” ©2012 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved