One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

Mixed Precipitation

Oh, Winter, you fickle thing, you.

I don’t mind the changing of the seasons.  Each one has its joys and trials and I enjoy living in a part of the world where we experience all four of them.   But winter on the coast can be pretty unpredictable…often in the best ways.  But sometimes, it’s just unpredictable.  Rain, snow, sleet, ice, more rain, wind, cold.  More rain.   Actually, the rain is sort of predictable.  Except during the actual growing season.

You can see what a good idea the primroses were.  No matter what’s going on outside the windows, they are like shining jewels on the kitchen windowsills…and when the sun comes out, as it did this past weekend, they glow a little, no matter how cold it is out there.

I find that deadheading the flowers as they fade keeps them coming on pretty steadily.  But if you don’t do it too quickly, you can enjoy the two-tone effect of the purple primroses above which go blue just before they fade.  They do need a little water about every other day, though, at least in the dry heat inside.

The last of the new amaryllis’ four blooms has faded now, but the old bulb is finally showing just a glimmer of green suddenly, so perhaps my faith and patience will be rewarded and it’ll bloom sometime in late February or so.

There’s other flowers inside to distract, as well.   That Christmas cactus I’ve been rehabbing is doing pretty well and is still blooming, with an assortment of flower buds still coming on that should keep us in the pink for another week or so.   The  plant itself still is a little limp looking, and I think I may need to bring it home for a while for some more intensive care, like repotting into fresh soil and maybe some careful feeding.   But I’m still pleased with how its bounced back in the last year.

There’s another plant marking time for me.    In just a few days, I’ll be celebrating my first anniversary at my job (where I met this cactus) and doing so with gratitude.    I not only have a job, but I have an interesting and engaging one, which I get to do with some really terrific and talented and fun people.

You’ll perhaps recall what I dubbed the Marchmas cactus, a red Christmas cactus that appears to bloom consistantly about every three months.  This one’s three years old now and also ready for repotting, since it continues to grow steadily.     And I’ll have to find a good-sized pot that properly shows off the red blooms, since you can see they are continuing to come on that three month schedule.

We’ve continued to receive our portions of the latest east coast snowstorms as rain.   I’m not complaining; I understand what a hardship winter weather can be, and how inopportune it’s arrival can be.

But when you get the whole weather media build-up about Snowpocolypses and such, it’s hard not to get a little excited about the prospect of a nice deep Snow Day, a day to lounge about in pajamas and monkey slippers, no matter how much one likes one’s job.

After all, the whole point of winter is slowing down, taking a break, re-energizing ourselves.   It can be sort of a relief when Mother Nature insists.   And sort of disappointing when she gives us only rain to impede our progress, not the snow that might keep us dry and warm at home.

Also, without the snow cover, I can see enough green in the yard and that it makes me impatient to get out there and be digging and it’s not the time for that.  So I continue to wish for snow to keep me inside, where I need to be planning about gardens, not trying to revive them just yet.   There’s still plenty of cold weeks before us, no matter what Punxatawny Phil suggests next week.

And it’s been pretty darned cold lately, at that, as soon as the possibility of snow had passed, dropping us down into the twenties in time for the weekend.

Fortunately, there was no wind on Saturday afternoon, and that – combined with some golden sunshine – was all the encouragement P and I needed to get ourselves out for a nice walk to the Bay.   Good exercise, good company and the chance to appreciate our winter landscape, which is certainly beautiful in its own way.

We were pretty well bundled up and walked at a good pace, but it was great to be out in the fresh air and to tour the slushy shoreline.

It was great to get out for such a nice long walk and on such a lovely afternoon, but it was good to have a project to keep me inside where it was warm afterwards.   And for that, I decided it was the perfect weekend to completely rearrange the living room.

It’s a good space, but everything fits sort of, let’s say “tidily” and moving one thing generally means shifting everything else around accordingly.  It can be a little tricky,     Finally, I came up with a new arrangement that feels fresh and roomy an interesting set-up that seems to have met with the approval of my roommate, as evidenced by A Great Purring.

It was an incomplete project still, however, on Sunday morning, as I needed to finish the part of the room which includes my computer work station.   It never pays to rush through that particular job, I find, since un/re-cabling should really be done just so and I wanted to take the time to plan it out the right way.  But I had an afternoon cinema shift at the theatre, so I left my Cat Buddy snoozing in the sunshine and headed off to Wellfleet.














Of course, one never knows what one will find on the journey and what I found was a little bit of that snow I’ve been craving, as a sturdy little squall of the stuff came swirling in off the ocean.

At the theatre, it was snowing wildly and accumulating at about an inch an hour.   It was expected to continuing mounting for a while and the decision was made to reschedule the movie, which was expected to be lightly attended.

I was cleaning off my ride before heading home when the wind caught my door and shut it just enough to lock it, with me still outside, engine running and stereo playing.   Fortunately, I had my cell on me and was able to call for a rescue from the local constabulary.    Just to make it a funnier story, the car stereo cued up the GLEE version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” just before they arrived.

The squall,  by the way, was pretty localized.  In fact, when I got back home, there was barely a dusting of snow in our yard.   But the forecasters are already gearing up with a Winter Storm Watch for us overnight tomorrow, when we will surely end up with almost all rain, though they tease us with talk of 4-8 inches.

Even with the lock-out delay and the slower ride home, thanks to slippery road conditions, I still had most of the afternoon to get the computer station and adjacent furniture rearranged and back online once I got home.  The whole business still needs some fine tuning, and of course, the chaos that comes of bringing order to this one room has washed up on the shores of the Nest’s other rooms, so that project is on-going.

But then, so is the Winter.  So it’s all good.


Comments on: "Mixed Precipitation" (3)

  1. I love the pictures of the Christmas cactus! house plants keep the winter months interesting for us don’t they? This year our Jade plants bloomed spectacular and it wasn’t until I read your post that I realized, with horror, that I never got any pictures of the event! AAHHH!
    Well hopefully next bloom will be as full, though to be honest this was the first time I’ve ever seen our Jade flower.
    Oh, bummer about not photographing the Jade plant – I’ve never seen one flower, either. I was thinking recently I didn’t have one of those. Hmmmm.

  2. Pretty hilarious with the Glee soundtrack syncing up with your real-life predicament. At least civilization was at hand to rescue you. I used to jeep out into unpersoned wildernesses and always worried about doing the very same thing!

  3. Really like you “slushy-bayshore” picture.

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