There's a blizzard in the garden
Sunday, January 01, 2012
The old gardening year slipped into the new with a spectacular last hurrah here at Fuchsias in the City. The day after Christmas, a blizzard dumped over twenty inches of snow (that’s fifty centimeters for the folks who think metric) on Hortulus Fuchsiarum. It was quite a mess on the streets… but the garden looked pretty good, I have to admit. I’ve dubbed it the Great Blizzard of the Feast of Stephen. Though I suspect some might prefer to call it the Great Boxing Day Blizzard because of the great drubbing the City took in spots beyond the garden. Like the street in the front of my building.
Because of the “terrain,” the wind in the garden almost always blows from south to north. That is, the short distance from front to back, from building wall to garden wall. Usually, wind comes across the island from the west, traipsing down the streets and over heads to hit the unfortunately tall buildings just to my east and then be pushed down, between a couple of older, more sensible ones. Its last leg is a canyon-like alley that funnels it into the garden. Oddly, if the weather is off the ocean, as it might be during a Nor’easter, the wind still seems to wind its way into my garden through my alley canyon to gust from front to back. And it can gust. Winter and summer. Which is pretty good, if it doesn’t gust too, too hard, since the breeze can help offset the City’s summer heat and humidity somewhat for the fuchsias. And, of course, for me too.
This time the blizzard wind took the falling snow and raked it across the garden as its stage, from inches at the front to almost four feet at the far wall. The large planter pots caused little eddies that sculpted the snow into sharp-edged hallows in which they sat dramatically. It was a perfect scene. While a small garden, I couldn’t help thinking how beautiful any landscape can be in the snow. And how perfect it is to sit and watch one through the window with a glass of port in hand, to let the imagination drift and crystallize, concocting spring planting schemes or summer what-nots.
Our snows in the City never seem to last long, though. That’s probably good considering the just beyond, again, and its penchant for turning the City snow into what is best described as… well… not white. In less than a week, my protected garden drift had receded to a little strip barely three or four inches deep, arching across the back like a sad little decrescent. Watching it shrink away day by day was like watching the tide go out in a slow retreat. Tonight, we’re forecast for another bout of winter that might bring eighteen inches (45 cm) or more. Tomorrow, we’ll see. I have the port glass, and lots of planting to still imagine, so I’m quite looking forward to the winter tide coming in again.