Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hello Goodbye

Like many of us I am not very good at goodbyes. That is the real reason that I leave the deceased-looking sedum and other perennial flower stalks standing all winter.

I tell people that I do it because the fallow brown color and woody texture of the stems and the dried-flower look of the petals look really cool against the snowy background. They do. But that's not why.

I declaim that it is better for the local birds to be able to forage for all--natural meals from the dried seed heads of our Echinacea and Rubekia than to be dependent on the fast-food feeders put out by us and other armchair ornithologists. Even though just about all of the flowers are completely picked over well before the first snowflake falls.

I profess that pruned perennials will overreact to any rise in sub-zero winter temperatures and prematurely begin their spring rebirth with fatal results. Although it never, ever gets even remotely warm enough to make this happen.

Then in early spring I cut them all down.

When the snow finally stops, but before the weather warms enough to negate the need for down outerwear, the un-pruned vegetation, now totally surrounded by an equally dismally colored landscape, looks truly drab, verging on moribund. Concurrently the gardening sap in my own body begins to circulate and my desire to see something that is naturally green and alive drives me out into the wilderness armed only with my pruning shears and metal-tined hand rake.

Like a mine rescuer digging for life, I tear into the accumulated debris of four dormant months -- ripping, cutting, and scratching until all of the remnants of the previous year are evicted from the gardens and jammed into my trash bins.

And the previously buried green buds of sedum, iris, day lily and hosta greet the sun and me.

I say goodbye and I say hello.

Hello, hello.

Hela, heba helloa

Hela, heba helloa

No comments: