I’m huddled on the couch beside my little dog, Sadie, and plump tabby, Percy, a lot lately. Partly because I’m an author and this is where I write, or watch too many videos, but also because I’m under the weather. Sometimes literally. Nothing temps me to venture forth. I gaze out the window at my dispiriting garden(s) and wonder what will survive until spring. The challenge with gardening in the Shenandoah Valley is that we can’t make up our minds weather-wise whether we’re North or South and waffle back and forth. Some years we lean more heavily one way or the other. For example, today’s projected high is the mid 40’s, and then we’re to plummet to the single digits tonight and be extremely frigid tomorrow, but back to the mid 30’s the day after. All this swinging back and forth is hard on the plants one hoped might winter over (particularly without the snow cover that has now melted away) and on the people who dwell in this fair valley. So winter is the sick time. Also when plant catalogs arrive. I have a stack to go through.
Copious seed ordering is fine. Seeds keep and I will use them sooner or later. The trick is not to order more roses, trees, berry bushes, plus, plus, plus, than I truly want to find a spot for. Inevitably these hopefuls arrive in March or early April, unless the sender realizes how inhospitable the valley can be that time of year, or I think to remind them. Our biggest blizzard ever was in March. No, this waffling isn’t from global warming, but how the valley has and always will be. We fluctuate. A lot. And keep a close eye on the weather. Country folk are good at prognosticating. It makes a difference to ones plans if we’re talking 50’s, next week’s forecast, or single digits, this weeks. I also see a lot of seasonal 30’s and 40’s in the extended meld.
My predictions for spring? It shall come.
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” ~Anne Bradstreet
*Images of Sadie taken by my sister at her house, and seeds by daughter Elise.