Tuesday, 13 December 2011

First visit of snow

Some hints of it started to fall down a week ago. I didn’t believe it would stay much longer than until the following morning so I didn’t rush to post about it. Now I have to make a note: the storm we had on Friday brought several centimetres more and in spite of the sleet and occasional rain since then some of it is still here.

No matter how late we see the first snowfall it always comes too soon and as a surprise to many. Now not only some drivers but also nature was unprepared. We had such a mild autumn that many plants had started a second growing season. In November, some wildflowers bloomed and the trailing strawberry hanging on our porch tried to produce berries as you can see in the photo at the end of this post. 

Despite the first snow, the two roses by our house still have some green leaves. However, this is because they only started to grow in the autumn. I’ve nurtured my climbing Flammentanz roses in large pots and we’ve taken the pots in for the winter. Until now they have always survived the frost perfectly in the old cow house we have on our plot. 

Climbing Flammentanz in December. 
This spring, however, the roses didn’t show any sign of life even after weeks in a most sunny position and I feared we had lost them. The thought to part with my ‘Dancing flames’ felt hard so I decided to do it gradually – or in the best case witness a miracle. I emptied the pots in a large black waste bag, placed the plants on top, took them to a shed and let them be for a couple of months.

In late August when I was resigned to the idea to throw them away, I noticed they had revived after all. By then I had learnt my lesson and I finally planted them properly. No winter can be any worse underground than the -34°C (about -30°F) we had last season, most likely also inside the old cow house that hasn’t seen any cattle since the 1960s. 

It will take a few summers to see the roses flourishing like they used to but with proper nourishment and some love they should be completely renewed. Little by little just like their owner.

Teresa Maria

November strawberry.
December green fields. And a 'river' runs through it. 

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