Saturday, January 16, 2016

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day or Persephone Was Here

The foot of Blueberry Hill Road, about a mile from where I grew up
We are finally in the grip of Winter here in central Wisconsin. While it may be Foliage Day, celebrated with garden bloggers posting pictures of foliage on the 16th of each month, here there is little foliage to capture on film. (Part of the rules are that it be foliage showing off to its best in your garden on that day...)


That translates to pretty much nada, zip, zilch, goose eggs in my garden.  The inadvertent Queen of the Underworld surely was fibbing a bit when she revealed she had eaten just six pomegranate seeds. I think in central Wisconsin we typically pick up the slack on that fib with 7, 8, or sometimes even 9 months of Winter.

Boxelders, ash, maples, and oaks covered in rime; English has as many words for ice and snow as any Inuit.

The random white pine covered in rime; white pines are often planted in rows running north and south as wind breaks.
When these pines were small the corner of this hill was drifted shut more often than not.
Foliage, when present in January, runs a short list of evergreens. At just 12 degrees, even evergreen rhododendron PJM looks like it is covered in sticks rather than the brown-toned leaves, closing in on themselves at less than 20 degrees as they do. The akebia finally dropped its foliage on my side of the fence, although hidden between the neighbor's house and amongst the limbs of the arborvitae, it is still green and is still plotting world garden domination. Heuchera retain their foliage, but if they are well placed, are under the foot of snow we received. Hopefully, that snow will provide good insulator material for the minus 15 degrees forecast for our next couple nights. That's without the windchill factor.

With the promised cold, this weekend I will hibernate. I will binge watch Netflix. I will hopefully decide what flowers I really have room to add to my garden (the eternal dilemma) and buy seed. I will organize papers for taxes, I will clean. I will start some sprouts.

Even given this burst of winter fury, our Winter has really only begun after the first week of January. If we see bare ground and balmy days by Spring Equinox, it will have been a short-lived sojourn with Haides for Persephone this year.

Hope y'all haven't worn out your seed catalogs yet. And perhaps pomegranates are not a good choice, just saying Persephone. Just saying...

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