Moments In The Garden: A Messy Surprise End to Winter


“Nature has undoubtedly mastered the art of winter gardening, and even the most experienced gardener can learn from the unrestrained beauty around them.”  

~Vincent A. Simeone



Back from my blog break, I am continuing my series, Moments In The Garden, with a look at our messy end to winter, and a surprise I did not see coming.  In January, I showed the views of our winter finally beginning.  And we assumed winter would continue with a typical February, cold and snowy.

But February was anything but typical.  While there were snowy, cold days, we also saw very warm days, and days that were sloppy with snow, ice and rain that we usually get in March.  So let’s see what February looked like in the garden.



When February started, the weather warmed with record temps, melting 3 feet of snow quickly…..


feb thaw collage

You can see that the grassy areas were sodden and flooded as well as the back of the garden where the garden drains.  Also the pond was becoming translucent with open water at the edges.  These were scenes we usually see in March as spring approaches.





One day after the pictures in the collage above, the garden quickly absorbed lots of the water and was drying out.  I thought, yes we would get an early spring.  Little did I know what February had in store. 





Three feet of snow fell over 3 days mid-month.  And I was thankful as frigid temps were coming, and the snow would protect plants that were beginning to pop up in early February.





And of course the pond was frozen again and covered over with barely a reminder of what was here, except for the grasses and swamp milkweed remnants standing stark now.





The sun bounced off the plants sporting their fluffy cotton hats again.  These are monarda seedheads I love to keep for winter interest.




snowy meadow morning collage

Of course the meadow and woods in the wild area behind us glowed coppery in the rising sun especially after a fresh snowfall.





Once the frigid, below 0 temps came, the snow actually changed in its look and feel.  Powdery as if there was no moisture left.  It was smooth and the color of the shadows was a deeper gray-blue.  You can see this same snow in the picture at the top of the post.



Just when we weren’t sure what would happen next, another sloppy melt and crazy mix started the third week.



We awoke to snow that had been covered by freezing rain, which continued throughout the morning.




mid feb thaw collage

And if it couldn’t get any messier, it began to pour, with a few inches of rain falling, causing the garden to melt yet again.  This was as far as it got as evening set in, and it snowed several inches yet again.  The slushy mess in the roads froze solid, as did the garden, for most of the remainder of the month, with snow covering the mini skating rinks throughout.




slushy branches collage

These are views of the slush-covered branches of the willows in the front garden.





And while there weren’t many sunny days, there were a few spectacular sunrises.  This red sun rose the day before our sloppy snow-ice-rain storm.  I guess the old adage is true, “Red sky in morning, sailor take warning.”





The most frequent visitor to our garden, in February, was the squirrel.  You can read more about their story in my Wildlife Lessons post at my other blog, LivingFromHappiness.


So there you have some February moments in our garden……



Last Wednesday, when we returned from visiting family (that is where I was on my blogging break), we discovered the weather had warmed, snow had melted and early bulbs were beginning to flower.  And some songbirds had started returning.  A lovely garden surprise.  It made for an easier transition back especially since we were treated to 90 degree weather in Arizona and 70s in California. 



These snow crocus always open first, but they did not last long with the cool, wet weather in early March.




snowdrop collage

And snowdrops were up all over.




first spring bloom collage

This weekend as I wandered around the garden, I found other flowers starting to bloom:  more crocus (bottom left), Winter aconite (center), iris reticulata (top right) and one hellebore opening (bottom right), the other getting ready to bloom (top left).





And look at the daffs already…many are getting ready to flower.  I cannot get over how early spring is.  Almost a full month early.


The garden is still too wet to work in, but I am anxious to get started.  It is balm for my soul that is much needed.



As the new season starts, I hope you will join me for Seasonal Celebrations.  Details on how to participate are below.




Join In The Seasonal Celebration:

As I feel spring’s call, to celebrate this new season coming soon, I hope you will join me. I welcome those Down Under who will be celebrating the coming of fall to join in too.  

All you have to do is write a post between now and March 2oth telling me how you are or will be celebrating the new season.  Then leave a comment on the kick-off post, with your link, so it can be included in my summary post on March 21st.  

I do hope you will consider joining in the Seasonal Celebrations meme as we celebrate the new season arriving soon to your corner of the world.

And as always, I will be collaborating with Beth@Plant Postings and her Lessons Learned meme at this same time.  What lessons have you learned this past season of winter here in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere.  Write a separate post or combine your Lessons with your Celebrations for one post.


I grew more ‘Ariel’ Paperwhites or Narcissus tazetta.  And since they bloomed quickly, I decided to pick them for another vase this week.  There will likely be more for one more vase next week. 



I decided, for this vase, to show the Paperwhites off in a simple glass bottle……





Aren’t they stunning.  They fully opened in no time once I cut them and placed them in water.  They also did not flop over…the stems are very strong.




paperwhites 2 collage

The scent from these is similar to most Paperwhites….I am not a huge fan.  I have noticed both my husband and I react to these flowers with itchy eyes and sneezing.  But I love the flowers so much, that I have to grow these in winter even if I may be allergic.




paperwhites collage

I moved this vase around to see where I loved it more….and really they looked wonderful no matter where I placed them.  A bit of interesting info, in the Language of Flowers, Paperwhites mean ‘Aphrodisiac’ due to their intoxicating scent.  



I thought I would leave the flowers, now starting to bloom outside, for next week, but I just couldn’t help myself….and I picked a few!



A few snowdrops, one iris and one crocus….a perfect early spring vase that was unexpected!





This is the vase from the backside….equally lovely.


I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare these vases:  Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.




Next up on the blog:  

Monday, I will have the wrap up of Seasonal Celebrations.

I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her blog, Rambling Woods.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Monday. 


All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2016.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.