March 31, 2013

Just Visiting...

The end of March brought two images worth sharing.

For most all of March, it has been wet and cold and a foot of snow blanketed the property.  As a result, the fifteen or so containers we have been overwintering in the garage have limped along with just the light from a single south-facing window to provide the stuff of photosynthesis.

Three visitors from a more southerly
zone get a taste of spring in Boston.
Sunday, though, brought sixty-degree temperatures and so, for the first time in 2013, an array of Zone 7 and 8 shrubs came out of the garage and into the warmth and sunshine.  From left to right, an acuba, cape plumbago, and a loropetalum get acclimated to spring.  Behind them, a snow bank still tops out at three feet.

Sunday's outing was a one-day event.  By evening, temperatures were back into the low 40s.   By later in the week, though, they'll be back outside, basking in sunlight.

* * * * *
This was the inner sidewalk
bed on March 27.
On a crisp, cold morning in early February, I walked out my front door and was confronted with proof that nature always has the ability to startle us.  There, in an otherwise barren patch of earth, a half dozen white hellebores were in full, glorious bloom.  They caught the sun’s weak rays, preening like movie stars.

The very next day, they were buried under 18 inches of snow.

I thought little about them for the next seven weeks.  The inner sidewalk bed absorbed snow pushed off from the driveway from repeated storms.  For much of the time, two feet of dense ice greeted visitors.  
The hellebores, March 31

Then came the late-March melt and the snow pack retreated daily.  By this weekend, the snow was gone from all those areas except where it had been pushed by hand or thrown by machine.  On Sunday, the retreat was startling and, by the hour, the inner sidewalk bed showed more and more soil.  

Sunday afternoon, I saw something startling:  that same clutch of hellebores that had been buried under the snow and ice.  They were a little limp at first then, by the hour, they perked up.  By mid-afternoon, the hellebores were as though the storms had never happened.

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