Usually at this time of year in early January, I have taken down and stored all the Christmas decorations as well as a bit of New Year's sparkle decor' and am happy to let the quiet, elegantly-spareness of winter's bareness settle in to both the landscape and my psyche' with...one exception.
Clusters of blooming potted bulbs now set about the house are always welcomed reminders, such cheery harbingers of another springtime to come....
As a bevy of garden and seed catalogues begin to sprout up in our mailbox post in the new year, I usually find myself puttering away here in the island house's down stair's lattice room where my potting shed area has become dusty and stilled with an air of benign neglect. Movement and a bit of magic however return to its atmosphere as I pull out various old and new pots, bags of small sized garden stone, bags of potting moss and of course begin to scoop down into one of the large potting soil bags I keep in an antique white enamel child's bath on its tall risers my late mother found in a local antique shop and never put to use. It had been tucked away to the side of her art studio holding old boxes of stuff until I recommissioned it to be an active part of my gardening facilitation's. The potting soil bag it houses now "bathes" spring bulbs being placed into pots every wintertime.
I keep potted bulbs simple and direct for each winter's interior enjoyment: easy, casual clusters of classics such as daffodils, hibiscus, crocus, tulips and such with usually a slower-evolving holiday leftover hanging around like one of this year's er, more stubborn amaryllis over at the in-town cottage. What a laggard has turned out to be. This one's determined to be a Valentine's surprise it seems! Well, so be it...we'll enjoy it then...
If I was of the style bent towards the grand, the showy, the outward extravagance that seems to still permeate much of today's upgrading of one's lifestyle showmanship (now termed Passing-By The Joneses instead of merely keeping up with them) spotted in books, glossy magazines, television shows and various neighborhoods around then perhaps I'd enact something like what I espied in Paris last spring along the Place' Vendome right by our hotel: huge Edwardian urns almost as tall as me with a round-ball clipped boxwood bush in each surrounded by potted daffodils spilling lushly over the brims of the urns. Breath taking, oh yes, and sooo pitch perfect elegant in the early spring grayed-tones of Paris but out here.... well, such things of beauty would seem comic at best, totally inappropriate at worst.
I've always been in wonderment to see homes and their lawns/grounds/gardens not "appropriate" to one another... especially long after someone's moved in and lived in them for awhile. But that's my own quirky observation and I well- realize that standard developer-contractor landscaping has become an American urban, suburban and small town institution.
Back to here where I live, said house, cottage and their surrounds are kept simple because frankly, the buildings themselves are simple. More simple actually than I'd like since I'm more of an English Cottage typa' girl who loves sloping eaves, small-pained but tall n' wide windows, stonework, slatted boards, bricking and ivy vine trailing along windowsills and door frames. However, we are no where near the point of either the timing or the desire for our "dream home" or heck, even a close-enough-house we'd hafta' spend a lot of time, effort and money on.
Maybe one day, but for now I'd rather be keeping it simple n' easy for awhile....taking into consideration my bad back, ongoing elder caregiving, our non-office-hour careers and the mass amount of actual nature existing right out our front n' back doors awaiting our presence fishing, kayaking, rambling around woods, walking along the marsh, beach and such....
This week James helped me out tremendously by not only taking down the holiday decor' but also repotting some houseplants and so maybe tomorrow or the next day or sometime soon we can get at least a couple more pots potted-up with spring bulbs and perched onto windowsills :)
Anyone who has a bulb, has spring. - Anonymous
Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. - Rainer Maria Rilke
I'm ready to keep putting little doses of poetry around my house spaces this month, how about you? Happy wintertime everyone and happy spring-to-come glimpsing about as well!