Saturday, February 25, 2017

February Frost

February gave a taste of simple, sweet, slow living, yet it broke all the rules. Warm, sunny days awoke the garden, setting off a premature blooming season. As I walked around the yard, white petals broke loose from the spirea and rose into the wind. Life was stirring in the butterfly bushes, too, dotting the branches with round green leaves--last year they hadn't sprouted until the end of April.  
Old timers warned against the balmy weather, and sure enough, the mercury will plunge tonight, bringing frost and trouble.

"Put old sheets on your buttercups," Mother said. "Maybe you can save them."
"Buttercups?" Bandwidth asked, his forehead puckered. His gaze moved around the dining table, stopping at the plastic tub of margarine. Did Nanny mean for him to cover the butter with a sheet?
"No, honey, buttercups are an old-timey name for daffodils," she said. 

Mother just celebrated her 89th birthday, and she spent a lifetime protecting her flowers.
"Learn the rhythms and cycles of your garden," she said. "Keep a journal."

Me, I hadn't trusted February. I knew winter was coming (again), as if I'd grown up in Winterfell, a member of House Stark. My husband agreed. Like a squirrel gathering nuts, he collected old sheets and stacked them in the wheelbarrow.

I am my mother's daughter. This afternoon, you'll find me outside, tossing sheets over the butterfly bushes and buttercups, knowing that a thin piece of cotton stands between endings and beginnings.

Shared at:
The Scoop


  1. I'm thankful for learning something new here today. I have wondered for years what buttercups were!

  2. Michael Lee, What a pretty picture you paint with your photos and frost warning. I love your dainty flowering branches in your box, nest, eggs and sweet bird jar. Our spirea isn't blooming yet but I fear for the cherry and pear trees that are just coming into their peak. My snowball bush is gotten too large and is right by the shoreline so any attempt to cover with sheets is risky since there's nowhere to put a ladder without tumbling down the riprap. I'm going to have to water it and the azaleas well today since it's been so dry and keep my fingers crossed!

  3. Yes, everything is in full bloom way too early and I know Old Man Winter will return. We're just waiting.
    Happy weekend!

  4. What a pretty post. I love how you remember her words. And such a beautiful jam jar. :)

  5. I'll be doing the same with my iris bulbs, they are shooting up leaves and it is too early! Our last freeze date is mid April, and we have seen snow on Easter in years past.

  6. Nothing coming up here yet, the warm weather was fleeting. What a lovely post!

  7. Yes, that "spring fling" didn't trick me! I know there will be a price to pay sooner if not later!

  8. I keep a cabinet full of plant covers and use them when a freeze is predicted. They've had plenty of use this year. Many of our trees here are in bloom - red buds, tulip trees, mountain laurel. We are definitely having an early spring. Even some bluebonnets have begun to bloom.
    Hope your blooms don't suffer damage tonight. You are wise to cover.
    Happy Spring!

    1. I covered plants until I ran out of cloth (I even used thin plastic). This morning, the daffodils (and everything else) were perky. Today, it's 40 degrees. What a wild ride.

  9. So glad that your plants are okay. We are experiencing some chilly weather for So CA.
    It has rained off and on all day today. I am looking forward to the Academy Awards and I pray that they will get into the Theater before it rains. They seem to be well prepared.

    My roses, Cape Jasmine and flowers are going to town and I hope that we do not get a cold spell. I have lost so many iris, rose bushes and plants due to the drought, they just dried out. those iris can cost 5.00 per bulb.

    Good luck with your plants and I hope they don't dry up on you.

    Have a wonderful spring like week.


  10. This weather is insane. Two days ago 74 and I wore flip flops in Ohio!!! Then the following day (yesterday) I woke up freezing, quickly shutting the windows I'd left open for fresh air because it was snowing. Crazy, wacky, insane weather.

    I never once covered my plants, I should, for sure - this is a good reminder.

    Did you get a new camera? Your pics are stunning - even more so than usual, which is hard to fathom.

    Have a wonderful week. Give your momma a belated birthday hug for me. ♥

    1. My mother is 85 years old and calls them buttercups as well. She grew up in southern Kentucky so maybe its a southern Kentucky/Northern Tennessee thing!