The assistant gardener is a fair weather sort, plagued by a variety of cold related irritations so that she’s rarely outdoors below fifty degrees. As always, I’m out slip sliding in the garden in ice and snow, and now sinking into the quagmire, no matter the heat or cold, though a visit on a breezy afternoon last week was hurried through when the high was eighteen degrees.
Every day, there’s something worthy of a stroll (or a shivering trot) through the garden, even if the something is to survey damage from last night’s freeze. While I seldom miss a flower, I presume that the splendid winter blooms of various witch hazels are wasted on folks (such as my wife) who have the good sense to stay in from the cold. My wife missed snowdrops flowering along the front walk until a recent fifty-five degree afternoon, but this was a bit chilly, so after a quick glance (and a “that’s nice”) she was back indoors.
So, why bother with winter blooms? And, of course, my wife would not, along with other sensible folk who observe the lengthening daylight, but not more subtle changes in the garden in the last weeks of winter.