After blizzards and ice storms, we could all use a little something "red hot".
Norfolk Botanical Garden. (Click picture to enlarge)
"Annette looked at the geraniums, very red against the blue sky.Gray is the color of the day, the week, the month, the season; everything seems gray outside.. the grass, the trees, even most of the birds. Our snow melted and either ran off the yard or soaked into the dirt/clay mixture we generously call topsoil around these parts. Add to that a couple of inches of rain over two days and then more freezing temperatures before a single solitary balmy day that warmed to 70 degrees before plunging back down into the lower 30's and you have a recipe for frost heaving. Of course, those five crazy squirrels that keep busy digging and burying who knows what might have something to do with it. And it probably didn't help that last summer was horrible with the grass... too dry, too wet, too acidic, too basic, too.. well, just TOO. A layer of compost and heavy reseeding helped a lot, or would have had the monsoons not arrived the day after the seeding. Yes, they came and reseeded again... just before another monsoon session and a short time before that November freeze hit. Now, there are just small little tufts of compost/topsoil scattered around the yard with hibernating (hopefully) grass seed still visible in areas. Before the deep freeze the grass looked nice and green, but now it is spackled with a drab green and dead-gray. It's not dead... it's just resting.. that's my story and I am going to stick with it.
'No matter how I try, I cannot find any thread of such a red. My bleeding hearts drip stuff muddy in comparison.'" ~ Amy Lowell, “The Basket” in Sword Blades and Poppy Seeds
I was going to have tulips this spring.. bright red big glorious tulips. I was going to plant them on time this year... those 100 tulip bulbs.. around the trees and in the flower beds. I was going to get over my fear of planting bulbs here, having them come up too soon with the warm winter weather we usually experience and even risk them getting hit with a freeze just as the buds were beginning to form in the spring. I was going to plant them in November, just as the instructions said.. late November.. not in February or March as I did last year. The operative words are... "I was going to." But...the cold came and multiple small snows and more cold and the ground froze. I tried to plant them, really I did.. but the ground was too hard to dig in.. even the cutting bulb planter wouldn't make it into the ground. So...
I'll plant them late, just like last year and they will come up and make nice foliage and that's it. No blooms. No red. No respite from the gray of winter until the daffodils that have been planted for two years now come up. What to do? The only thing I can do... go to the botanical garden. Even though the butterfly garden is bare and wildflower field cut low and though the azaleas and tulips and daffodils are yet to emerge... they DO have a greenhouse for tropical plants. And though they are not tropical, the geraniums are blooming with the big balls of radiant red blossoms. Next to pastel orchids and bright masses of background greenery, they pop with fire and with the fire, heat. And my goodness, don't we need the heat this winter!?
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Theme Thursday ~ "Red"