Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fickle is February!

It's not every day that one sees a traffic warning sign like this one out on the streets! You may have seen this photo, as it's been making the rounds the past couple of weeks, but the back story is that some enterprising and clever hacker managed to get into the traffic sign system down in Austin, TX a few weeks back and changed the signs to this rather ominous warning. I have to say this would have definitely gotten my attention had I seen it driving around the city ... and we'd have been eagerly peering around each corner hoping to spot one or two ... but remember, we're big fans of zombie movies, especially the "zomedies" such as Fido and Shaun of the Dead. I have the sneaking suspicion that the perpetrator of this humorous mischief just might have similar tastes as well, but I'm just sayin' ...
Ah, winter in Iowa, you just gotta love it! It certainly can keep you on your toes for sudden changes, so today's secret word (scream real loud!!!) is Fickle. Just the other night I was waxing lyrical about our recent meltdown and balmy temperatures in the low 60's (it was a glorious 64 here on Tuesday!) We were just finally being able to see the brown grass underneath the disappearing snow pack the past few days and then the Weather Underground had to come out with this forecast tonight ... (if you're here) read it and weep! They've also issued a Winter Storm Watch for Friday and Friday night that mentions the possibility of 6-10 inches of the ubiquitous white stuff, so here we go again...!
Of course, this is nothing unusual for February, and I half expected as much, but after what has seemed like an interminably cold and snowy winter, allow me a brief whine (the cheese is over on the table, help yourselves) to say that I'm deeply discouraged, especially after getting my hopes up to be bulb spotting soon ... that will have to wait for another day. I did venture out front briefly late this afternoon to look for signs of bulbs coming up, but aside from the ratty looking foliage of the muscari which usually lasts through the winter anyway and some pretty bedraggled and melted looking primroses, there's not a lot of green to be seen.

Even the hollyhocks behind the house are looking melted and still dormant, and in the north Woodland Garden, there's still too much snow there to even begin to see if the Hellebores are still green. Of course, just about the only green out there is from the Hollies who provide us with our only winter interest in that part of the garden. Maybe I'll finally get some photos of snow frosted hollies this weekend if this storm turns out as predicted ... we've been meaning to do that all winter, but frankly, it's been too snowy and way too cold to even contemplate it thus far, but they do look really pretty with a nice covering of snow, so we'll see what I can come up with. I may just take some shots of the winter garden to show how depressing it looks at this point in winter with its dead foliage still standing (at least the birds got some food from the coneflowers), just waiting to be cut back in those first few warm days of spring as we prepare the beds for another growing season. But again, that's for another day when the snows have finally subsided and signs of green are definitely appearing!

As we gardeners well know, there are a lot of "waiting games" we have to endure over the seasons (awaiting the first blooms, the first ripe tomato, the first hibiscus blooms, the list goes on and on), but the period between late winter and the arrival of early spring is, at least for me, one of the most frustrating because it seems just so interminable!

I guess that if I don't have to work again this weekend, I'll just spend some time perusing some of the catalogues we've been receiving en masse since January ... I did look at one the other day that had a great deal on some blue irises that we may want to order at a substantial discount, though with the financial situation as it is currently, we're trying to restrain ourselves this year on new purchases ... but knowing us, we'll probably break down and get some new things anyway! We do, however, plan to restrain our planting instincts somewhat this year, and limit ourselves to mostly vegetables and a few new perennials (I've vowed not to get any more hibiscus this year!) so we can concentrate on what we already have in abundance. Besides, we do have our new puppy to train in garden etiquette and plan on spending a lot of time working with her on that ... further, we've decided that Hanna is a prime candidate for learning some agility type activities, so we want to work on those as well ... if for no other reason than to help her work off that inexhaustible puppy energy! She loves jumping and running, so we figure she's ready to do some hoop jumping and hurdle type activities if nothing else. So much we have planned for warmer weather ... it's just the waiting for it to arrive that is driving us all a bit stir crazy here right now ... I suppose it's just a case of the late winter "antsies" affecting us all, so the sooner we have nicer weather, the happier (and more active) we'll all be!

How many of you are feeling similar at this point of the winter? It can't just be us!

14 comments:

CONEFLOWER said...

Boy oh boy! You hit the winter nail smack on the head. I am torn between wanting to see my tulips and daffies peeking out and knowing it's too early and therefore wanting them to stay hidden. It looks like the bearded iris that my cousin gave me have made it so far. (How do they survive that way sitting on top of the soil as they do?) Also there's a bit of green left in some gifted shasta daisy clumps.

I'm making plans to start my seeds soon.

Spring is truly coming...

boran2 said...

Our weather has been bizarre. It's been in the 40s and 50s the last couple of days. Today we have high winds. It will get cold again in the next couple of days. February is a bizarre month.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Coneflower,
I know what you mean about the conflicted feelings about the bulbs emerging! I checked again today to see... and did find a small clump of crocus just starting to break ground in the way back garden... it should be ok though with this next snow, just calm it down enough to stay put for now (I hope)!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey B2,
I know what you mean about bizarre weather! At least February is a short month, but then there's Manic March still to go! I am trying to find some old pics I took of the great St. Patrick's Day blizzard of '04 or '05 ... that was 17 inches in one day!

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