Marty's Garden, December 19, 2021

On the cusp of winter, I walk through my garden and already I see the promise of spring! A small yellow primrose has been blooming for weeks and there are many buds just waiting to unfurl. Most likely these buds will wait till sometime in February or March when daylight is lengthening, and the temperatures are slowly edging up again. Nevertheless, those tiny yellow blooms gladden my heart while they stick around.
Iris and grape hyacinth foliage has pushed up all over the garden. These bulbs always show their leaves in fall before breaking out in flower in spring. Daffodil foliage has also appeared, but it will simply stop growing as it gets colder. Then, as winter leaves us, the daffodils bloom and grow more leaves.
My Hamamelis or Witch hazel is full of buds along the stems. Sometime in later winter, very early spring these buds will unfurl skinny strappy petals looking a bit like yellow spiders. Its fragrance beckons bees from far away for an eagerly awaited early feeding and I know, even though my garden is not yet ready to burst out in color, its rebirth is around the corner.
Big fat buds on my yellow blooming magnolia let me know I might be in for a fabulous spring treat if ONLY I keep an eye on this still small tree in early spring. This year I thought I would see the most flowers on this tree yet and one beautiful spring day I spied yellow as its buds opened just a crack. Then the temperature dropped overnight, we had a few degrees of frost, and the next morning all that yellow I spied had turned brown. A handful of flowers opened a week or two later, the last buds to mature and open when the weather was finally more conducive for early blooming magnolias. This upcoming spring, I will keep a watchful eye on the buds. If they start opening when there might be frost in the forecast, I will cover the tree with a frost blanket (or shade cloth or even a large sheet) overnight, removing it in the morning and hoping to see that marvelous spring treat I missed out on this year.
Two florist cyclamen spent summer and fall in my garden where they bloomed to their hearts’ content. I dug up the first one from the garden on November 16, as it was coming into bloom again. Unlike my hardy cyclamen, these would perish overwinter. Nevertheless, both plants survived 28-degree frost for multiple days before I took pity on them, dug them up and potted them up. The first one is in bloom while the second one is starting to grow leaves and buds again.
Having seen a picture of glassware turned into glass mushrooms to be put around the garden I went shopping for cheap (second hand!) vases, glasses, and bowls. I found a variety of sizes, some colored glass, and a few crystal dishes without spending a fortune. Vases, candle sticks and pretty glasses serve as the base while pretty bowls become the head of the mushrooms. Come spring I will glue it all together and put it outside when there is no more frost in the forecast. I think they will make a nice addition to the garden, intermingling with ornamental grasses and perennials or under a tree. But until then – at least four months from now – I tend indoor plants and wait, impatiently, for winter to pass us by.