Nonwinter Continues

A few days this month have been average, but nearly every other day has been warmer.  From what the forecast shows, early January looks about the same and I guess that’s great if you’re digging foundations and pouring concrete this winter, but I guess it’s also great for fall snowdrops.  Surely one of those should make this gardener happy.

galanthus potters prelude

Galanthus ‘Potter’s Prelude’ looking as if it’s growing in North Carolina or Virginia or anywhere else where winters are more sweatshirts and sneakers rather than parkas and boots.

I guess foundations and snowdrops both make people happy, but I would like to take a moment and note that none of the construction crews have commented on the wonder of December blooming flowers.  Maybe they’re too distracted by the other wonders of the “winter” garden.

garden construction

The gardener continues to forage the construction site for more and more wonderful stones.  Some of the fill has also been moved, but the gardener waits until everyone is gone before using the embarrassingly tiny wheelbarrow and labor-intensive shovel to move ridiculously small amounts of fill.

Other than a group of snowdrops which looks remarkably similar to other groups of snowdrops, the rest of the garden is significantly less inspiring.

garden construction

The foundation rises.  Mortar runoff can only improve the quality of my lawn.

I suspect the bulk of the foundation work will be finished today.  Then it sits for a week curing before even more building goes on top.  I suspect it will take a while before I’m comfortable with this new massiveness rising in the garden but maybe more closet space is really what’s been missing from my life.  All this time I thought it was more snowdrops, so silly me.

fall pasque flower

A surprise pasque flower rising amongst the trash must mean something.  

Who am I kidding?  We are entering Temple Nursery snowdrop catalog season and I can absolutely guarantee that I will again try to fill that void in my life with new snowdrops.  I already called the bank to make sure our line of credit will be available in time.

Have a great week!

18 comments on “Nonwinter Continues

  1. Paddy Tobin says:

    Goodness, you are in the middle of a worksite and I imagine the safety of your snowdrops must be a worry. We have tree surgeons in some while back and I was glad the snowdrops had not come above ground at the time. The only damage, on the snowdrop side, was that several labels were trodden on and I have located several since and straighten them out so they are standing tall again. ‘Potter’s Prelude’ is one I’d like to grow but I don’t think it has crossed the Atlantic yet. Likewise, ‘Standing Tall’ seems another good autumn-flowering snowdrops that I’d like to try at some stage. Both are well tried and tested in American gardens at this stage. Hope the building work goes ahead smoothly and the garden recovers well.

    • bittster says:

      I have 100% confidence the garden will recover, and have to admit I enjoy planting new things more than I do seeing the same things return every year… to a certain extent at least… I do enjoy seeing the snowdrop clumps grow and small evergreens take on a presence and small saplings turn into trees! It’s always a changing art I guess.
      Don’t you worry about ‘Potter’s Prelude’ and ‘Standing Tall’, they’re both good snowdrops but I think you have access to many more exciting ones even with your changing import restrictions. So far the snowdrops have almost all been protected. It looks like a disaster but I have kept this in the back of my mind for years and have been sort of good about where I plant the most important stuff. Hopefully next spring I’ll just plant some grass seed and move on 😉
      As if!

  2. When we had our bathroom redone this past spring, the workmen were astonished to see my snowdrops blooming “so early.” They were rewarded with a clump to take home. I’m glad you’re at least getting good rocks and fill out of the deal. I’ll be interested to see what you grow around the new addition.

    • bittster says:

      I think it hurt my feelings a bit that no one has mentioned the snowdrops or the rest of the garden. Who are these people who I’ve trusted to build onto my house!? Surely they don’t spend all day looking at concrete block and thinking about cigarette breaks?
      I already mentioned to the one contractor that I wouldn’t mind having just sand all around the foundation as backfill. Right now I’m leaning towards containers or rockery or both. I have plenty of time to think about it.

  3. The first snowdrops I ever bought were from Temple Nursery. His catalogs had to be among beautiful and interesting ones out there. It is pretty horrifying to see that pile of dirt. But the good thing is that construction should be done by the time the serious growing season begins. We finally got the cold and snow here. Cold enough that I’m glad the garden has the snowy insulation .

    • bittster says:

      I had my coffee on the front porch this morning in just a sweatshirt. Not what I was expecting on the last day of December but I think by next week we will see some colder weather. Not really enough to do more than freeze the top inch or so of exposed areas but colder compared to what it’s been. Hopefully though it will convince the snowdrops to slow down a little!

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    Glad the weather favors your new construction and snowdrops… any hellebores yet? The window replacements we ordered 6 months ago are finally being installed today and tomorrow, so like you, I am grateful for milder weather. Holes in the wall at this time of year are rather inconvenient!
    Happy New Year!

    • bittster says:

      Yay! Finally the windows are being replaced, and yes, holes in the house in December are never welcome.
      No hellebores yet. I have a H. niger sending up a couple blooms but would really love an earlier one for winters like this.

      • Eliza Waters says:

        We got through the disruption and I think I was able to protect the few tropicals from the coldest rooms when they were working there. Even though they wore masks and we stayed as far away as possible, I will be less worried once we pass the incubation time to feel free from worry. I’ve lived in a bubble for nearly two years and it’s become a habit. :/
        Happy ’22 to you and your family!

  5. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I hope that your snowdrops are happily under a blanket of snow now. The weathers appear to be marching toward your area. The pile of dirt is scary. The concrete overflow is even worse. Trash is not acceptable. Good thing I am not around there I would give them the Old Lady Lecture about NO TRASH. … and have a good weekend now.

    • bittster says:

      The weather seems to be losing its steam as it heads closer to us. Everything tomorrow will be rain although there’s a drop almost all the way through the 20’s once that front passes… for two days and then another warm up until it gets colder. Maybe. Who knows.
      I don’t mind the trash since they did do a cleanup yesterday as they wrapped things up, it’s the cigarette butts which grate on my nerves. Smokers rarely consider their butts as trash and seem just fine throwing them onto the dirt and into the streets, and they’re gross and annoying to pick up.

  6. Cathy says:

    I suppose the mild winter has some advantages and your building project can get done quicker, but it does make me feel uneasy when December is so warm. It was 13°C yesterday and today the sun is out so it should be even warmer. Not warm enough for any signs of life in the garden yet though. Although I must check again later! That Pasque flower looks amazing rising out of the building site debris. Happy snowdrop shopping and happy new year!

    • bittster says:

      We are having the same exact weather this morning followed by rain tomorrow. I’ll take it for a day and hope we don’t have to pay for it in February when real cold mows down all the early birds. I spoke to a few snowdrops telling them to take it easy, but once they get it into their heads to grow even a foot of snow doesn’t change their minds!
      Have a Happy New Year!

  7. Lisa Rest says:

    Your sense of humor through all this is comforting. Indeed it must be the only way to proceed. What a challenge! But I agree it’s more fun to plant new things. Happy New Year!

    • bittster says:

      I am like the reed, bending yet not breaking in the wind… or…. I really don’t mind cleaning up the garden and planting a bunch of new things! It was a little hard letting go of certain plants here and there, but hopefully they live on in cuttings.

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