Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Winter's Lingering Impacts

Few of us that experienced it have forgotten the severity of last winter.  A not so gentle reminder came in the mail in the form of the gas supplier's terms for budget and price protection plans covering the coming heating season.  A much more pleasant result of the past cold was this freshly opened tulip tree flower.  Its seasonally correct blossoms were few in number this year.  We do not know if this plant is likely to re-bloom but that is exactly what is happening here now.  It would seem somehow right if these new flowers are a positive response to the past bitter cold.

Dwarf phlox more commonly set a second flush of flowers.  Still, the coincidence of these flowers appearing the same day as the tulip tree flowers must be a day brightening experience.  Many more buds are about to open so a picture taken in a couple of days would be more impressive but why wait?

Our Summer Sweet really took a beating last winter.  We know that it is two zones out of its comfort area but try to include it here anyhow.  Our original plant was placed directly in the path of frost rolling downhill.  All of its top stems were winter killed but now it is covered with new growth.  No flower buds can be found on that bush but at least it is still alive.  This plant is sited just over a gentle knoll.  Our frost river does not flow here.  Further protection from the stone loading ramp made possible this generous set of buds.  We are just days away from what may be the sweetest scent of summer.  We will have to kneel on the ground to really enjoy the fragrance but the effort will be worth it.

Fortunately for everyone there is no picture of the next event.  Scented daylilies are planted near the stone wall next to the road.  If one wants to inhale their scent, a walk across the planting bed is necessary.  We try to limit foot traffic across our beds so another solution was found.  It is possible to bring one's nose close to the flowers if a kneeling position is assumed atop the wall.  Finding hand holds among the lower wall stones has so far prevented a tumble into the plants as the flowers are lower than the top of the wall.  With knees and hands firmly anchored one's head can be lowered toward the plant.  That movement sends the backside skyward.  That was my position when a neighbor rode by from the rear on his bicycle.  His greeting consisted of a friendly wave accompanied by a huge smile or more likely an actual laugh.

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