Sunday, 17 February 2008

The dormant season is when your garden's bones show

Winter in January

Croatia has two main types of climate: Mediterranean and Continental.
The Mediterranean climate (a warm dry summer, a mild winter, and delightful spring and fall) extending along the Adriatic coast and islands. The Adriatic coast, with its 2,600 hours of sunlight yearly, is among the sunniest coastlines in Europe.
The continental region, including the hinterlands, has typical winter temperatures below zero, while spring and fall are pleasantly warm, and summer is hot.
The highest summer temperatures can reach 40°C, and in winter, temperatures in selected areas drop to a low of -15°C.

Situated in the NW continental region, my garden always gets its fair share of winter. Last year though was one of a kind, when we had practically no winter at all, and instead of winter athletic events including shoveling the snow, I was renewing my front lawn and sowing grass in December. The lawn did show its gratitude, but many of my tulips, daffodils, fritillarias and other early spring joys never popped their lovely flower heads out. The global warming made it clear just how big an issue it is and will be. I thought - there goes the winter for good, but this year it was back in its full might and glory, with the cold and brisk northern winds and quite some snow.

''What do gardeners do in winter?
They accumulate fat! ''

Temperatures below zero °C went on for weeks so did the snow, and amidst all of the winter's magic, I long for the springtime . And what better to describe my sentiment than these beautiful lines by Helen Hayes:
All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.

I wonder why they're called SEMPERVIVUMS ...

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