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Winter Draws a Cold Brittle Line

by | Jan 22, 2014

What I love about Virginia is the way the seasons do a challenging dance right around this time of year.  Is it fall? Is it winter? Is spring around the corner? You wake up in the morning and sniff the air to find out which is on the menu for the day.

Especially in the days before Christmas, just when retailers were trying to get me in the holiday mood, I would come across little treasures in the grass:

A violet


An azalea blossom




A short coneflower



Even honeysuckle!


And of course, the sunshine of a dandelion


But the nice thing about our climate is that at some point the iffy-ness disappears. We know it isn’t fall anymore. And for sure, spring has not come.

The overnight temperature plunges into the teens. Lingering blossoms blacken and shrivel. Winter has drawn a cold, hard, brittle line. It might do it two or three times in January, and maybe even February, though February often blankets its cold with a layer of forgiving snow.

On the other side of the cold hard line new garden joys await us.

Here is my first January camellia


And only this week, the first early bulb flowers surprised us on a chilly morning.


If winter’s flowers are here, can spring be far behind?