First bloom of the year, on the new hellebore.
Since I’m now a parent and find myself saying dorky things like “Lead on, MacDuff!” and “it’s a doggie-dog world” on a regular basis, I am going to just come out with it: is this thing on? I think I may have hit a record length for blogging silence, at least for a blog that I still consider active. But yes, I do still consider it active and I do plan to return, dust in the corners, and charge ahead into spring. My biggest challenge remains a lack of anything in my life suitable for blogging. Or at least, nothing suitable for a garden/home/cooking blog; since I remain resolved to only refer to the sprout obliquely and without photos or specific amusing anecdotes, there isn’t much left. Yes, I could (and probably will) wax on about the conundrums of being an old-school feminist in an anti-feminist reclaiming-high-heels-for-the-masses era, but that’s only interesting for so long and hardly at all once it’s actually outside of my head. What I would prefer is to organize my actual life to allow for cooking, gardening, art, and home projects so that I will have more material to work with. We’re not quite there yet.
We are, however, making painfully slow but steady progress toward having space, time, and energy to make these things happen. The garden has the most potential since it’s outside and therefore exempt from being entirely covered with stacks of paper to be dealt with, which is the fate of all other available workspace inside the house. Last spring’s hard work is already paying off, as there are buds and sprouts and even blooms coming up all over in the new side garden. I finally have a hellebore, and it’s a lovely deep burgundy color; having bought it half off well after its bloom season, it could have been anything. One of these days, when there is money to spare for specific garden plants, I’d like to add a green-flowering one and a medicinally valuable one. (Because I’m a geek who likes unusual things, and green flowers are certainly that.) I remind myself that there is a whole backyard just waiting to be landscaped post-new-fence and there’s no need to cram every flowering plant I covet into one small patch. At any rate, the hellebore is flowering! The dicentra is also sending up shoots, which is reassuring since I feared I’d killed that one. I may yet have killed the second of the two; I’m not entirely sure as I am trying not to inspect the ground for shoots every single day (a watched pot and all that).
The shrubs seem to have all weathered the (unseasonably mild) winter well, as they all now have buds and new shoots. I did manage to get the second winterberry into the ground during one warm stretch, so that leaves just the spicebush, inkberry, and beautyberry in pots waiting to be planted. They are destined for the liriope-riddled side yard at the back of the house, near the stairs to the basement, just as soon as we remove all the liriope and the two sassafras saplings that we’re donating to the town park. That area is bounded by our neighbor’s fence, the rear addition, the sassafrass trees in the front and the holly tree in the back. So it’s the next reasonable place to garden, as it could use some cleaning up, pruning, and rearranging. It’s already a sheltered corner that the birds and squirrels love, and I think it will be lovely once the new shrubs are in place. It’s also visible from the two windows in the rear addition, and between the flowers, foliage, and autumn/winter berries it’s looking really fantastic in my imagination.