Saturday, January 26, 2013

Embracing Winter

Lonicera fragrantissima buds were swelling a few weeks ago during a warm spell. I brought them into the house and they perfumed my office for a few days.
Heptacodium bark is amazing in the winter.

Day 255
The Daily DuBrule

I am not a fan of winter. The older I get, the colder I get. I miss my flowers desperately. They feed my soul. I look outside at the barren landscape and I think to myself "I should find this beautiful". Instead, I find myself wishing for color, lushness, greenery. 

I wish I could say that I vacation in warm places every winter but, so far, I haven't done that. For many years I took care of my elderly parents and only went away on business trips, all the while worrying that something would happen to them while I was gone. Contrary to what most people imagine, when you own a garden center and landscaping business, winter is a really busy time. You have to buy all of your products for the following year, organize your employees, take inventory, and design and estimate new landscape jobs for the coming spring. In the early days of my business, I was so poor that I did everything myself and began the spring completely exhausted. 

Now, in year thirty, I have excellent help. My parents are gone. And this is the first winter ever that I actually have had time to rest, relax, and think straight. It is an amazing gift, to be time rich. So back to embracing winter. I spend a lot of time in my home office which is a sunroom. I have a great view of the outdoors, with birdfeeders next to the window and a lovely sunset that includes a long view of blue hills framed by 'Midwinter Fire' orange twiggy dogwoods. Why aren't I content? I am wishing for something else. I am not soaking up what is in front of me now- the white snow, the serenity, the calm emptiness of this season. 

Last night it hit me. I woke up in the middle of the night and ventured downstairs to get a drink of water. I looked out at the deck to see that a dusting of snow had fallen. Wait a minute, the deck was covered with sparkling diamonds. I knew it was supposed to snow last night. Why was it sparkling? I looked up at the sky to see the bright moon shining on the newly fallen dusting of snow. I looked out at my yard and the entire yard was sparkling. It was then that I truly appreciated the gifts of this season. 
It took a mere three days for my witch hazel to fully open. The first time I stuck my nose in the flowers and smelled that familiar spicy scent I was in heaven. Can the flower show be far behind?

I awoke this morning and sat at my computer and watched the hungry birds feeding. I took photos of all of my houseplants and forced branches that are making my home a cozy little patch of paradise. I thought about the next three days stretching ahead of me, long, luxurious, and perfectly suited for writing, designing, and being creative without the pressure of the busy season bearing down on me. I get it.
My friend Lucy gave me a double Hibiscus plant that she propagated. I is so pretty!

Last year Fran, from the African Violet Society, gave me a rooted leaf of this gorgeous African violet. He should see it today. I now love to grow them, as my mother did before me.

Lucy also rooted a cutting of sweet olive, Osmanthus fragrans, for me. This teeny tiny white flower has the most powerful fragrance.

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