The new year swept into the hollow with the great blizzard of ’16 which proceeded to dump 2 feet and more here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge but has proven to be a benevolent storm, with no power outages, good plowing, kind neighbors, and a quick thaw. Near 60 F is predicted this coming week. We will be sopping around in mud for some time and all gardeners are grateful for the lush moisture that awaits the turn of the seasons.
Everyone was worried about bulb foliage spurting up in the warm spell before Christmas, but the slender spears have easily slipped back into dormancy beneath the snow, ready to awaken again as the pale tints of winter give way to the acid green and chartreuse of spring.
The new bench graces the beech garden beyond the deer fence and allows us to commune with it unimpeded. The bones of the garden come out in winter – the benches and seats, the beeches and ash on the central axis, the dark evergreen of the American boxwood, the ragged russet of the grasses against the cobalt blue of the old gazing globe. Witchhazel ‘Diane’ throws the ruby red threads of her cold flowers against the azure sky.