February 16, 2007


My Backyard, Chicago, 1997

Above is a painting I did 10 years ago , mid-February. My garden has changed a lot since then, but not the weather. We had a pre-Valentine's Day blizzard that left a foot of fresh snow. But, who's complaining ? The poor folks up in New York State had a record 12 feet, not 12 inches. Besides, as a gardener I think of the snow as beneficial to the soil and we've had a mighty dry winter thus far. So when you get lemons, make lemonade.

Late February, and the air's so balmy
snowdrops and crocuses might be fooled
into early blooming. Then, the inevitable blizzard
will come, blighting our harbingers of spring,
and the numbed yards will go back undercover.
In Florida, it's strawberry season—
shortcake, waffles, berries and cream
will be penciled on the coffeeshop menus.

- Gail Mazur,

Strawberry season in Florida ?! Yummy. I'm going to visit my friends there next week and experience once again how it feels to be human. I'm glad February only has 28 days.

I'm eager to check out the garden scene in Florida which has a much longer growing season than my stomping grounds in Northern Alabama. I doubt that gardening is the challenge that it is here, although I would venture to say that water, or lack thereof , might play a big part. I seem to remember someone telling me that they had " water police " that issued tickets for residents watering their gardens outside the set hours. One word : Xeriscaping ( "Xeros "; Greek for dry) and scape for landscape =landscaping with drought tolerant plants.

Murphy's Law : Bet the weather in Chicago will warm up as soon as I leave for Florida. Just hope it doesn't get cold down there.

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