Light at the end of the tunnel

Red maple on the great lawn at dawn 1-28-08The light is definitely changing. I have to be quick now because in the middle of the afternoon the sun angles in the potting shed windows, arcs across the monitor screen and slides underneath my eyelids like it’s trying to poke me awake from my wintertime torporific stupor. Ground Hog’s Day has always been my favorite holiday because for me it marks spring within reach. Regardless of whether we get a Blizzard of ’78 anniversary event or even snow in March, spring is still inevitable and closer by the day. The birds are singing, the sun is high enough and warm enough to send the greenhouse vents flapping and we’re getting into gear – a slow first gear to warm up our engines for the big spring push starting for us, in March and April.

Gail, Linda and Kari under the benchesA couple of volunteers came in today to help Gail and me tackle the weeds. Just like any other garden, the greenhouse desperately needs to be weeded every minute and the Kenilworth Ivy (Cymbalaria muralis) had gotten ahead of us. I think it looks pretty but it’s a very tasty harbor for the dreaded whitefly. Maybe thanks to my pest-icidal tendencies (I’m a killing machine armed with a soapy water spray bottle), we didn’t have clouds of whitefly up our noses and instead just suffered the discomfort of out of practice squats and deep knee bends. (Gardener calisthenics)

some unpotted Colocasia fallaxI know I’m not the only one to be easily distracted in the garden, or in this case, the greenhouse (Carol at May Dreams Gardens has written a lot about it) but you’d think because I do this every day and for a living that I might have achieved a little more focus by now. This morning I very purposely started unpotting this poor potbound Colocasia (C. fallax), then I’m not sure what happened – maybe I noticed a weed or wanted my camera or saw something shiny and the next thing I knew hours had gone forgotten by. My hori-hori was still impaled in the pot and poor babies were high and dry on the floor. All is well though. I went back to it and have it almost all divided and repotted now. Hey look, the iris are starting to bloom!

Iris reticulata ‘Clairette’ 1-31-08.  That’s 5+ weeks to bloom after bringing them to the cool greenhouse.


6 thoughts on “Light at the end of the tunnel

  1. I don’t think we ever get over that tendency when gardening to be distracted à la Carol’s and Annie in Austen’s posts.

  2. I’m generally not a big fan of weeding, but if I lived anywhere near Blithewold, I’d be first in line for the opportunity to weed in your greenhouse. Oh, for just a few breaths of greenhouse air right now….

  3. I love those little bulbous irises, but I’ve never grown them at Squirrelhaven because I don’t know how to site them where their ever-expanding leaves can be camoflaged. Is that Iris ‘Katherine Hodgkin’?

  4. Oh dear — and I planted my first autumnal vegetables today, though our hottest month has barely begun! It’s still definitely summer here, though.

  5. Kate, I suppose distraction is an occupational hazard…

    Nan, You’d be very welcome to weed – or just breathe in the greenhouse anytime!

    Layanee, What a weekend, huh?!

    Mr. McG’s D, Those Iris are I. reticulata ‘Clairette’ and I know what you mean about the foliage – a lot of bulbs have that problem. Outdoors they just need some summer lovely to spring up around them.

    Chookie, When it’s freezing here, it’s hard to believe it’s hot as blazes elsewhere!

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