Friday, March 28, 2014

Past Performance Is No Guarantee – But We Can Hope

I am writing this on March 1, 2014 – hoping that the Groundhog was wrong and that the Old Farmer’s Almanac turns out to be unnecessarily pessimistic.   

Here is their 2014 Long-Range Weather Forecast for Hartford, Connecticut: average temperature 43° (1° below normal); precipitation 3" (1" below avg.); Mar 1-8: Snow showers, cold; Mar 9-14: Sunny, then showers, turning warm; Mar 15-16: Sunny, cool; Mar 17-21: Heavy rain, then sunny, cool; Mar 22-25: Rain, then sunny, cool; Mar 26-31: Sunny, then rainy, warm.

 I am itching like crazy to get my long-dormant garden hands on those winter-dried perennial stems that were left standing over the cold months in order to provide (a) food and shelter for the birds; (b) “winter interest” – i.e. cool shadows and freaky skeletal sculptures; and (c) something to do in early spring to get my frozen horticultural juices flowing again.

I am desperately looking forward to the first sunny day that requires no more clothing than a flannel shirt and perhaps a light down vest (and pants of course) – when I can retrieve my pruning shears and thin leather gloves from the bottom of my yard-work basket, and hew these deliberately neglected and now snow-crushed and pitiful looking desiccated twigs into piles of pick-up-sticks to be consigned to the first trash bin of the growing season.

 I am imagining the feel of my large red plastic leaf rake dragging debris from the bare space between my hacked-down herbage, and the gentle stroke of my hand-held shrub rake as my knees feel the cool, damp earth for the first time in several months –– and perhaps I uncover the first fresh-grown green anything of the year.

It’s all happened before – at the same time, in the same way.  So, even though as we all know “past performance is no guarantee of future results” – it could happen again.

That’s what I am hoping anyway – that as you read this at the end of the third month I will have experienced at least some of my “OMG, spring really is here” garden dreams – and you, yours.

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