Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hope Springs Eternal...

Japanese Quince
Hope springs eternal was the first thing I thought as I captured a few more early spring blooms in the garden this afternoon.

Then I wondered, does this saying have anything to do with the spring season?

Sadly, no. It originates from Alexander Pope's 'An Essay on Man' (1733-4), and speaks to human nature in general.

Nothing about gardening or bulbs popping up to surprise us.

Oh well. Hope really does spring eternal for the gardener, though.

And those of us in Central Texas are holding onto our hope with both hands these days. Just waiting anxiously for the official thaw to evaluate our gardens and determine which plants we can dare to hope might survive this brutally cold winter.

Mid March is our official last average freeze. (Average being the key word here, in a season and a state where we have seen nothing average for several years, in fact.)

Then we have to wait for things to grow. And many of these plants that were so damaged by the cold, may also be very slow to come back.

But we're holding onto our hope, by golly. I have many plants for which I am holding out hope -- my biggest concern is my Eureka Variegated Lemon tree.

For which plants are you holding onto hope?


Caroline said...

The lime trees, always. And this year, the dwarf pomegranate; it looks terrible and I'm afraid to look for green wood. Maybe next week.

Diana said...

Caroline - I am like you - afraid to check for green wood. I'm just gonna wait until the freezes are over for good.

Annie in Austin said...

We're all hoping on citrus, I guess! Fingers crossed on the outside Meyer's Lemon and like Caroline, I'm hovering over a dwarf pomegranate. The hopes for blue clerodendron and Mexican honeysuckle are probably foolish ones.
Diana, do you also have a feeling this assessment period is going to be a very long one? I hate to give up too soon, but don't want to miss our chance to find replacements.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Diana said...

Annie -- I do think that it's going to take a longer time for them to come back if they are coming back. It does pose a predicament. I saw my lemons in 1G and 3G @ nursery last week but was afraid to buy if mine comes back. What a conundrum. Just reminds me that I am not in charge!

getgrounded said...

Fortunately, I hemmed and hawed and ended up procrastinating about planting my Lemon tree in the ground, so I'm bringing it indoors frequently these days. My dwarf pomegranites are also on my concerned list; I'm sure I didn't help matters when I transplanted them a few weeks ago, to what ultimately will be a better spot assuming they live. My clerodendron - oh, I hope those roots are alive! The Cat's Whiskers...well, let's just say I'm glad I took cuttings and started them. The agapanthus that I counted on as evergreen structure in the front - doubtful. I have 2 Society Garlics coming back already, and 2 doing nothing. I DO have unknown bulbs sprouting though, in odd places, so that's what I'm looking forward to. But truthfully, this is more like the old style winters Austin used to get, and while my garden suffers, my psyche likes the change of weather.

getgrounded said...

I forgot to mention my Rangoon Creeper. It was just getting started and it's definitely one I'm afraid to disturb and look for green wood, but totally have my fingers crossed for it.

Pam/Digging said...

Mexican weeping bamboo, Aussie acacias, newly planted dwarf Barbados cherries, foxtail ferns (moving down the list from expensive to cheap to replace). We must wait and hope right now, but like Conscious Gardener wrote, the change of seasons has been nice. I'm ready for it to change to spring now though. ;-)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Mine are still all covered with snow so I guess things are going along as usual so far. I am really looking forward to spring this year.

Lancashire rose said...

I'm with you on all my lemon and limes and Philippine violet. The first year I have not moved the ls indoors and it had to be this one. Then there is my pomegranate. I know it doesn't like frost especially when the new leaves come out. If it dies then one of us is going to be quite happy. The tree had become too big for the spot and was interfering with passage. But I will miss the 'abundant harvest'

Patchwork said...

I'm worried for all the newly planted things in my new/old garden. Things here when we arrived, look fine. Some I planted, not so much.

Guess we'll find out....hopefully soon.

Stay warm.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

So I guess you can tell Sarah Palin that the "hopesy changey" thing IS working out pretty well for you. (Not sure I understand why anyone would encourage others to wallow in despair.)

Hope DOES spring eternal in a gardener's heart but we know it's not enough. To realize what we envision also takes a lot of back-breaking work.

Maybe politicians can learn from gardeners.

Gail said...

My rosemary shrubs look half dead. They had gorgeous form and once I prune the dead wood it will be a lopsided shrub. Have to wait and see if they look bad enough to replace. Their form was beautiful. gail

Anonymous said...

For me, it's the gray cassia, my plumbago, the Barbados cherries, and my bush morning glory. The bush morning glory is the most important to me because it came from my mother and has a lot of sentimental value. It goes dormant every winter and comes up from its roots, but I don't know about this particular winter...It's also the very last plant in my garden to come out in late spring. It loves the heat.

Janet said...

I am not sure what is coming back or not. I am worried about the gardenia that is leaning over quite a bit. With the winds and the wet soil, the gardenia came out of the ground about halfway. Thought it was replanted enough but this last round had re-uprooted.
Love your quince!

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

I have a buddha hand lemon that is not happy with the amount of water it's getting... I'm holding out hope for him!

Diana said...

GetGrounded - Glad your lemon tree is safe and scenting your living room! I'll keep my fingers crossed for the Poms and the Rangoon creeper and Cat's Whiskers (mine, too)!

Pam -- So how does the Weeping Bamboo look? I wouldn't have thought it so tender. I think of bamboos as indestructible, but of course it's not!

Lisa -- One of my blogging buds lists a countdown to spring @ her blog header - might be a good idea!

Lancashire Rose -- My Pomegranate looks terrible, but I haven't scraped the trunk yet, though. My lemon looks like it has green at the base, though it may require a hard pruning to get back to live growth.

Linda/Patchwork -- Newly planted things are so delicate. I hope they were rooted enough for you - I'll keep my fingers crossed for all your new plants.

MSS -- Your idea of politicians taking a lesson from gardeners is amusing! Hopey-changey thing my ***! Don't get me started on that. I think hope is a great thing -- for gardeners, and everyone.

Gail -- I'm so sorry about your Rosemary. Mine all seem ok -- even the ones that are getting too big for where I planted them. (Wonder whose fault that is?!) I'll keep my fingers crossed that you can at least reshape them nicely if they require a hard prune.

Anonymous -- Oh, I hope your Bush Morning Glory is ok. It would be so hard to lose a sentimental plant like that. I have several sentimental plants like that, too. Hope the sun comes out soon so it can get revitalized.

Dirty Girl Gardening -- I'll hope for your lemon, too. They are so special. I hear we are supposed to get more rain this spring. If it would just dry out in between, we'd be good. Guess you can't have everything!

Diana said...

Janet: Gardenias seem so fragile. I'm sure having it half-ripped out didn't help either. I hope it can tough it out. I love my tiny little quince, too -- I'm ready for it to GROW though!