Thursday, February 13, 2014
The dishes are washed, the news is over and it's finally quiet here for a minute. I just checked outside and the storm has taken a breather. It's 24.2° but the wind starts and stops and 5 to 9 mph is what we are seeing now. When the wind sneaks around my office window it creates tall whirls of snow that spin ghostlike over the steep bank and down onto the field below. There are probably 5-6 inches of snow right now, an accumulation from around 1 PM. There's no telling what I will have to deal with in the morning but Alex and I put the plow on the truck knowing that it will be needed.
When morning breaks, it will be Valentine's Day. I have no idea how much revenue the day creates in sales from candies, flowers, jewelry, dinners out and various fancies. Valentine's Day seems not as big as some special occasions but it has its place.
When I think of Valentine's Day I always think of the perennial flower named Bleeding Heart. I can remember the common variety growing in the gardens of the farm ladies next door to us when we moved to Vermont. Likewise I remember when they gave a piece of root to my mother who loved the plant and in a couple years had something to brag about when it reached comparable size to those plants at the farm.
Up top here is a Springtime picture of bleeding heart when it gets started. Some might have trouble recognizing what it looks like before the flower scapes rise and the tiny hearts begin to take shape. Over time the plants can grow very large and this should cause notice to you to fertilize them well and on occasion in the spring or fall, divide them and share the wealth with a gardening friend.
The stems can be cut and brought inside to enjoy but you'll doubt this when you first cut a stem and smell something unusually bad. Take a match and singe the end of the stem and it will encourage the turgidity to hold strong for a few days and you can enjoy the hearts displayed by themselves or mixed with other spring flowers. No, bleeding hearts don't flower for us in February but they do appear in our gardens when other nice spring flowers brighten our days. Give them a try if you wish but remember one other caveat to planting them. Over time they grow large like Oriental poppies....and like poppies, they suddenly go dormant and leave us with a big yellow hole in our garden that looks odd. Plant the bleeding hearts towards the back of gardens where their dormancy will not matter. In spring when they bloom, other flowers will not be as advanced and the hearts will be the standout--certainly for you to enjoy--maybe for someone you love...too.
Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where with a whistle of wind the snowfall has returned, leaving no doubt that I will be plowing snow come morning.
The Vermont Gardener
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And always here to help grow your green thumb!
Gift certificates always. Call Gail at 1-802-426-3505