We northern hemisphere people are clawing back the daylight we lost to you southern hemisphere people. The “magic moment” of the gardener’s year is coming. The “magic moment” for plants is when day length is longer than ten hours. Our first ten hour day is about the end of January. A “special day” marker for this time is Groundhog Day, February second. The old Druids had four seasonal festivals, Beltane, Lughnasadh, Samhain, and Imbolc. Imbolc’s moment is when daylength is noticeably longer. We are nearing Imbolc.
With Imbolc’s imminence, Wishetwurra Farm is showing activity. The other day we were discussing when to start pruning the blueberries. Most of the new season’s garden seeds are ordered, and should come in the next week or so. My friend Nancy has started her leeks. In the greenhouse, mache and claytonia greens are stirring. They’ll be big enough for salads in another month. Shoots and buds of the snowdrop have appeared. I suspect that the next warm spell will open some snowdrop flowers. They’re later this year than in years past, but we’ve had more cold this year than the last few.
Today is a January thaw day. The temperature has been above freezing for the last few nights. We are in a “warm” spell now. Little snow is left on the ground, except where is had drifted thick or was piled high. The next forecast of below-freezing temperatures are almost a week away. That patch of disturbed earth next door that was iron-hard a few days ago is now slick, gooey, shoe-swallowing mire. Don’t believe it? Just ask my shoes.
All this preface is a teaser, for what we shall be enjoying in a sixmonth.
In a garden bed to the south of our house is a dark purple iris, so dark as to be almost black at times. Getting the color right seems to be impossible for my camera.
Oh well, let’s dive in…..Here are a half dozen iris photos, to drive dull winter away.