Today, in the midst of studying for a mid-term, planning for a whimsical upcoming trip and trying to stay on top of work, I had the chance to dig into the garden for a soft, gray, early-morning hour. I thought it was a good way to commemorate another season's change. I found a plant-trading pal on freecycle so I had to do some digging to prepare for her pick-up of some divided bleeding hearts. In return I got some new daylilies and a reason to start in earnest my garden tasks for the spring. I've been gradually working at cleaning up the last of the leaf litter from last fall-I let it lie in the flower beds to protect the roots over the winter-and right now, as the new growth starts, I have the best view all year of the bones of the garden. This is the time to move and rethink and design. It is always a work in progress, but it was good to be outdoors in my boots and overalls, happy for the overnight rain. Mud is a friend when you're properly dressed for it and it makes the work so much easier.
I have daffodils and forsythia blooming in glorious yellows and one bright-eyed Lenten Rose (hellebore) representing the other end of the spectrum. I have high hopes for my hellebores and plan on putting in a few more this year. I think my fuchsia succumbed to the winter extremes in spite of my efforts to protect it, but am not certain yet. I'll give it a few more days before deciding I'm just a zone short of being successful with that particular plant, at least as a perennial. The herb garden endures, with parsley up from last years seed and rosemary starting to make a comeback. It was a good way to start the week- an oasis of calm in the midst of my desert of crazy.