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a place of your own

along the garden path

Heavy snow and ice brought down the last leaves left hanging on the branches, together with a host of brittle twigs. Despite the annoyance factor of having snow early and the glut of sticks and debris that will need to be picked up later, I can’t help but wonder at the beauty of the winter landscape, whose soft contours look almost unreal.

From somewhere in the bushes a bird sang all day long with an enthusiasm worthy of a bright summer morning. I must remember to set out the bird feeder, the little critters can use all the calories they can get to keep warm.

Along the garden path the perennials gracefully retired for a good winter’s sleep, all but the long suffering hellebores, with their ever green leathery leaves. Lenten roses don’t like it one bit when you disturb their roots, and I didn’t know that when I dug them out to divide them. They took a little pause to ponder on what just happened, sulked for a while and eventually decided to go on, quickly doubling in size and filling all the space.

The mature clumps set plentiful seed last spring and showered the earth with descendents, gathered around them like chicks around a mother hen. I dug out the seedlings and sprinkled them through the garden to populate less than desirable shady spots. The newborn plants quickly took over their new locations, eager to prove their vitality. It didn’t occur to me to check if hellebores come true from seed, my guess would be ‘no’, so we’ll see, when they start to bloom, what latent genetic traits they decided to embrace.

I just realized that without thinking I planted a lot of evergreens, most of which are not narrow leaf. Between the hellebores, the ivy, the vinca, the magnolia, the pachysandra and the sweet woodruff, the garden never really goes dormant.