Sigh. Californians are, most likely, a curmudgeonly lot, wont to complain about the frosts and rains of winter. It’s true. We do. Having suffered, endured and survived the long winter snows of both Massachusetts and Ohio, I know how spoiled we must sound, how entitled we must think we are. But there you have it. However, our constant semi-anxious state, ever glancing at a local snow-capped mountain as our constant indicator of just how close we are to spring (we aren’t) can also open our eyes to the precious signs of life that do abound (and they do). Opening the front door recently I was stunned to find the above sky dawning and ran to my camera to catch this glorious morning, as these skies can shift in a moment or two.
Then a few days later, grumbling as I ran my dogs in the mud, I eyed their pool–usually filled with clean water, but not this day, and was amazed to see my world reflected back in the most extraordinary way!
You can bet that I began paying much closer attention to puddles, streams and lakes in the days that followed, watching carefully for Nature’s exquisite take on winter, not at all muddled or obscured as my view had been. Not at all.
Continuing on this inspired path I looked fondly on the assortment of little pots I had collected about the front door, greeting and cheering all who entered and departed at this time of year. It’s a lovely sight, I must say.
Ever so glad I found this unlikely marguerite at Christmas, and added her to the welcoming committee!
And here a faithful primrose:
Most especially I rely on the cyclamen, winter’s special gift, and they abound at this time of year and I am happy and grateful for it! They are perennial, as you most likely know. I set them up ages ago and I do absolutely nothing, yet they emerge beautifully and generously each year.
The small investment of a lovely pot adds to the charm of this presentation which I rely upon year after year.
Reading about cyclamens I am told to not water them during summer. Ha! While I do respect their dormancy period I am just as inclined to splash water on the cyclamens as anything else in my path and they really do not seem to mind. Perhaps it’s due to our very hot summers. There really is no danger of their “rotting” around here!
Cyclamens truly are one of my favorites, and I find others in the community have taken advantage of their loveliness in their potted arrangements as well. Here’s a group living happily with ferns and ivy, beneath a canopy to protect from occasional frosty nights and mornings.
And this pot invites folks to sit awhile on the adjacent bench. How pretty is this?
Keeping the cyclamens company are the very early camellias. Each year I very much look forward to the opening of my Christmas camellia, never knowing if it will actually open by Christmas or not. (It did!)
Once the Christmas camellia opens the watch begins for the opening of the abundant camellias that live here, right now primarily all in bud. The first in the garden to open is a large white one, which I often access not from my own garden, but from my neighbor’s garden, as it faces toward the winter sun, still low in the sky. Last week it had not yet opened, but, praise be, this week it did! I am enjoying most thoroughly!
“The wonderful purity of nature at this season is a most pleasing fact… In the coldest and bleakest places, the warmest charities still maintain a foothold.” ~Henry David Thoreau
What plants inspire and nurture you during the cold of winter, my dearest readers?
Love and winter blessings,
Posted on January 16th, 2011 by Kathryn
Filed under: Plants