No, I haven't done an "about face," I'm still not a fan. BUT, in light of the fact we're finishing up the snowiest February since record keeping began, and more snow is forecasted this week (not to mention March is typically our snowiest month) I thought some slippery mind tricks were in order to get thru the remaining days of winter!
Here we go ~ let the trickery begin... (whatever works, right?)
1. Snow is good insulation. Okay, I can get on board with that. I have a few borderline hardy plants that will most likely survive the winter because of almost constant snow cover.
2. Snow is good moisture. Well, got me there too. But I've always been in the camp of rain is better and less destructive. Plus it doesn't turn dirty and icky looking afterwards. Having said that, the worries of having to hand water all the evergreens planted last summer hasn't been an issue with regular snowfalls. Props for that!
3. Inclement outdoor weather, forces the creative mind to turn to other pursuits. Like crafting:
Always more fun in winter (to me) than summer. Okay, this isn't so hard (or bad) right?
4. Snow and cold kill unwanted pests (or at least knock them back) in the garden. That's a very good point ~ I can't find an argument with something that beneficial.
5. The snowy months of winter make spring all the more appreciated. AMEN sistah.
No mind tricks required ~ I'm SO on board. So are the Eranthis hyemalis (winter aconites) who decided enough is enough and broke into bud anyway. *pretend you hear a 'hallelujah' chorus here*
Well now ~ there's five reasons and they were easier to come up with than I thought they would be. hmmmm. I think I'll let that "settle" for a spell and see if a reversal of thinking is in order. Could this bonafide summer girl actually have a change of heart about winter?? That's probably pushing it. But positive reinforcers don't ever hurt...
If I had to pick the Amaryllis in my collection that had the largest bloom ~ hands down it would be 'Clown.'
I actually got my tape measure out (so that you wouldn't think I was bluffing) and measured 8+ inches in diameter!
That's a full 2" larger than 'Razzle Dazzle' which also happens to be blooming now. I set up a comparison shot so you could see for yourself:
I know I don't have to explain which is which!
Pretty impressive, right? (not to take anything away from 'Razzle Dazzle' ~ I'm fond of all my "babies!")
Lucky me, there are three enormous bloom stalks that emerged from 'Clown' ~ two opening now & the third close behind. It makes for one gigantic bouquet of red & white deliciousness:
The perfect early Valentine gift...
I'm particularly partial to the two blooms above that opened "back-to-back."
A waterfall of loveliness....
We'll see if it gets any better ~ my bulbs have been slow this year but finally I have about five more buds waiting in the wings. Maybe they'll all bloom together for a big "finale?" That would be a great way to end winter, wouldn't it?
Totally cemented after my Dad told me yesterday that we'd made it thru the darkest quarter of the year (Nov 4th to Feb 4th.) There's life stirring deep down in the earth now ~ I just feel it. And I.am.SO.ready!!!!
Tho January wasn't as hard as it typically is for me (thank you Pinterest!) Amaryllis 'Blushing Bride' saw me thru the last days of the month:
The stalk broke when "someone" perched it precariously where it shouldn't have ever been and it fell. *Ahem*
Thankfully it suffered the fall gracefully & looked every bit as lovely in a vase on the sill...
If I used my imagination (maybe too big of a stretch), I could pretend it was blooming outside instead of in!! ha
Now that it's February tho ~ there will be blooms outside with or without imagination.
That is, as soon as the results of the latest big snowstorm melt.
p.s. A huge "thank you" to Jo-Anne at John Scheepers, Inc. for the above 'Blushing Bride' bloom. She very generously sent me a second bulb when I questioned whether my original bulb was indeed her. I am now indebted because, it appears, they are one and the same. Many apologies and much thanks again for the opportunity to confirm it.