Thursday, January 3, 2013

Gray, White, and Fresh Green

Gray January skies, drizzly rain, 43 degrees.  And then the shock of these emerald moss islands along the edge of the road.  It was hard not to reach down and pet them.  Okay, actually, I did.

I like to walk in weather like this.  The air feels fresh and moist, and after being inside most of the time since Thanksgiving, it's a relief.  There were lots of moss islands all along the way.  And the winter weeds are showing up:  chickweed, wild garlic, bittercress, even henbit, which usually is a little later, I think.  Our ancestors ate all of these fresh greens; what a waste that most of us do not.

Back at home, paperwhites have been blooming for a few weeks.

Looks like my paper bush (Edgeworthia chrysantha) is going to bloom soon.  The velvety white flower heads are getting fat.  I love how that plant looks in the winter all bud-scarred with diamond-shaped lenticels along the twigs.   I'm really looking forward to the fragrance of the blooms in a few weeks.

I can find rosettes of green coming up through the leaves all over the place, if I poke around a little.  Aster, goldenrod, chrysanthemum, iris are all sporting fresh leaves.  I noticed new leaves and buds on the Lenten roses, but fewer than I expected, which is a little disappointing.

Bellflower (Campanula punctata 'Cherry Bells') is out of control.  Will have to remove a lot of that.  Dozens of daffodils are pushing up their narrow leaves.  I noticed a pink (Dianthus chinensis) on the verge of bloom; those flowers bloom on and on for at least 9 or 10 months of the year.

Yesterday, I saw on Facebook a picture of snowdrops posted by Mills Garden Herb Farm in Statesville, which is just a few miles north of Charlotte.  I responded to the post saying mine weren't up yet, much less blooming.  But then I thought about a couple of places I hadn't looked yet, and sure enough, I had one...exactly one...but they're so lovely that one was enough. It made my day.

What's going on in your garden at the start of this new year?