For years I have refused to “tidy up” my flower gardens in the fall, preferring instead to have a “winter garden” of stems, plumes, seed pods and stalks—all of which provide amazing habitat and food to overwintering birds, squirrels and, of course, mice and voles, as well as places for probably thousands of insect and insect eggs and larvae to live out the cold months. Certainly the Junco above appreciated the snack!
Today, with the ground still mostly snow-covered and frozen I decided it was a good time to be out in the sun and get at it. As I write this a pair of Cardinals is enjoying the changes I made, though probably not yet collecting nest materials.
A few plants are poking up, Crocus and the Glory of the Snow and Witch Hazel are beginning to bloom. One can only imagine the swelling and growing that is going on down a few inches in the soil!
This time of year I also enjoy clipping a few branches off the Forsythia bushes for forcing inside. Fun especially this year to distribute “bouquets” of these sticks to housebound neighbors. I was delighted by one who immediately said “I was wondering when you’d come with these!” Three or four days in water inside and, voila, instant spring.
I’ve posted images of this plant as I see it throughout the year, always a pleasure. And isn’t it a good time to think about the normal changes that are coming in the next few weeks instead of only thinking about the hyper changes on the front page of the paper?