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In February the garden’s energy is in its roots...

Bulbs of Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’.

In February, concentrate on the thought that the garden’s energy is now in its roots. That image is somehow comforting to me, especially as I watch the deer single mindedly foraging for every piece of any plant that is at all visible whether they’re supposed to eat it or not!

Subterranean energy is, after all, impervious to deer. All of those precious flowers lying underground in bulbs in wait until spring comes–all of those daffodils that we love and that the deer will not touch, and the hellebores that soon will be blooming under their big leathery leaves. On nice winter days, I lift up the hellebore leaves hoping there will be buds I can pick. If there are some, I snip them off and carry them into the warm house, as if they were made of precious gold. I put them in float bowls of water to coax them to open up in the warmth of the house. And at the grocery store, there may already be some of those pots of miniature daffodils for sale. ‘Tete a Tete’ is the early variety, and the pot can be kept once the blooms fade, and the bulbs can be planted in the garden to add joy in future years.

We are getting positively tipsy at the prospect of spring on the horizon when all of that dormant energy underground will be unleashed.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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