Bloom Day, April 15, 2011

This is my first Bloom Day of the season!  It is cold here in West Michigan.  And windy.  And while the bloom “pickin’s” are pretty slim, there are pickin’s!  I am amazed at the heather.  It bloomed in December, and it is blooming now.  I suspect that under all the snow we got this winter, there were tiny little purple flowers just doing their thing.  And, the violets that seem to thrive despite all my efforts to rid my lawn and gardens of them, have popped out.

Heather
Violets

Heather in Winter

Temps yesterday were in the 50’s and, thus, lured me into the Secret Garden.  I have to admit there isn’t much there that could be described as a winter garden.  Or perhaps I simply do not see the much beauty in wind-bent brown stalks that only a few months ago balanced flower heads.  But then I noticed the heather.  It is blooming.  On the last day of December.

Heather Flowers in Winter

So, intrigued, I did a little sleuthing.  It turns out heather was used for roof thatching in northern Scotland, and, archeological excavations in Orkney reveal heather rope that dates back to 2000BC.  It has also been used to make brooms and a number of alcoholic beverages including wine.  Heather honey is said to be particularly delicious.

But most remarkable is the fact that it is blooming in my West Michigan garden in winter.

Besides the heather, I’m enjoying the bright red holly berries.

Holly

I just wish it would grow faster.  The bits of blue in the bottom right of this photo are shards of broken coffee cups, an experiment in “paving” that may not be working.

Temperatures dipped back into normal ranges today and it is windy.  I’ve put a fire in the fireplace and am balancing a toasty laptop on my knees, all the better to keep me warm and indoors on this first day of the new year.