About this time of winter I begin to think about the first green shoots that will be pushing their noses through the blanket of crusty snow. The cold gets old as the end of February draws nigh and any expanse of grass peeking out are a sign that winter’s chill will not last forever. To speed up the coming of Spring, I find myself eyeing the gardening magazines in the grocery checkout lanes and weekly watching for signs of activity in neighborhood greenhouse.
This year will be bitter sweet because I have left my years of perennial gardening efforts behind in Michigan. On the other hand, I have inherited the previous owner’s landscaping designs and plantings. It has been so long since August, I can hardly remember what is sleeping under the snow. I believe there were some common hostas and a variety of grasses, irises, and ecanecia. There are three raised beds along the far side of the backyard with a few mums and herbs. I am planning on seeing what each season will produce before I start adding more. Likely this year I will fill out the yard with my personal favorites in hanging baskets and planters, which are easy to move about and fill out dull areas.
Last fall, before the last frost, I repotted all of my geraniums in planters,I hate tossing them aside and typically try to carry over plants that can survive. So I have them currently squashed together in the cool basement under a flourescent light in front of my husbands workbench. Making sure that they pass through the winter resting quietly, I water them only a few times, demanding very little from them. Back in Michigan, each year I would turn my front porch into an indoor winter garden. I found it relaxing puttsing and fussing over them on the weekends while enjoying the damp earthy smell. Without the enclosed front porch here in Wisconsin, I have had to resort to a secret ” basement winter garden” that often provides a pleasant distraction from the mundane task of doing laundry.
Saturday I was able to experience the first indication of warmer weather as the thermometer rose into the low 40’s. I found myself excitingly pointing out patches of grass as I walked my dog along the receding snowbanks lining the city sidewalks. It must be a sign that winter is close to loosening its icy hold on the possibility of Spring breaking forth.