by Phyllis Galowitz

The plans that I had in the fall of putting the garden to bed, somehow were thwarted this year by an early frost, followed by rain, rain rain. The ground was a soggy mess. I never got to rake the leaves or mulch the vegetable garden or the flowerbeds. I never got to put the netting over those bushes that I knew the deer would demolish. The packages of deer netting——so expensive——are still sitting, unopened, on the shelf.

Suddenly a warm spell caused the bulbs to sprout and then, just as suddenly, the snow began, covering all that should have been done.

Now, as I look out of my kitchen window, watching the snow fall as it has, over and over, this year, I gasp at the beauty of the garden. The blanket of snow has almost reached the top of the picnic table. Everything is clean and white. Last night’s animal footprints are quickly covered by today’s new snow and the trees are outlined in white, making the woods appear as if in negative.

In all this still, white landscape, which sets the stage, the birds keep me amused, flitting from the cover of the huge Colorado Spruce to the bird feeders and back again. They are the dancers and their costumes are perfect. The blue jays are gorgeous against the backdrop of white. They’re the stars and the black-capped chickadees are the corps de ballet. The curtain falls and they all disappear. Everything is quiet until the next performance.

The catalogues have started to pour in and with them, my dreams of next summer’s garden.

grandchildren just from cuttings, and the basket is wearing out from constant watering. It’s time to divide all of those plants. I’ll give one of the babies to Joe to bond our relationship.

I have shoots from plants of Michael’s and from Gloria’s, each one is special to me because it came from them.

A dracaena that had been the centerpiece in another gift planter, four years ago, now sits majestically, in a ten inch pot, on the floor and is three feet tall. It’s neighbors, from the original pot are all grown up and sit in their own pots. When I look at them, I think of Joan and Rhoda, who brought the original plant to Alan in the hospital. It, as well as he, have many years ahead, and both the plants and Alan bring me great pleasure.

Amy, John and Ian gave us a guzmania for our anniversary. It’s a bromeliad, with a sword like center of bright yellow and red bracts. Its small flowers will be colorful for several months and brighten the indoor garden scene, as she and her family brighten ours.~

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